I had to write an essay today in my AP Language & Composition class. The prompt was “Explain how the ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life.” We’d just finished reading a few essays written about this topic and were given forty minutes to write the essay, as is required by the CollegeBoard when you take the AP test.
And so I wrote it. I talked about how people view beauty creates the need to look that way (thus the beginning of the cosmetic and fashion industry) and how it has made women have a stronger, positive influence on society. I don’t really want to go into the nitty-gritty because it’s Friday, and I want to enjoy my weekend 🙂
Anyway, when I finished my essay I looked around the room at all my fellow classmates. Everyone had different clothes and hairstyles and backpacks. And so I looked up at the prompt on the board and applied it to the 20 or so other teenagers surrounding me. How do the ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?
Teenagers love to read magazines and gossip blogs and other various fashion media. And on this media we see Alexa Chung wearing her new line for Madewell, and Selena Gomez stepping out in a pair of 5-inch heels on her way to meet Justin Bieber for dinner, even flipping past the page that shows us Abercrombie & Fitch’s latest look book. And looking at these pictures, we want to look like these glamorous people who seem to be having so much fun, to be so in love, to be so…everything. And that truly is what influences us.
I looked at a girl next to me. She was wearing a black lace tank top under a blazer. She probably got the idea from a magazine. Or maybe she saw two separate people wearing either item and thought, “Those would look really cute together.” And then she bought them and decided to wear them. Maybe next week there will be a girl wearing a similar outfit because she saw this girl’s outfit and thought, “I want to look that cute.” Truly, that is how what people believe to be gorgeous and fashionable comes to be what we wear.
Today I’m wearing jeans, Converse, a grey tank top, a black cardigan, and a green scarf. How did I put this together? A girl in my Leadership class was wearing a slight variation of it on Wednesday and I couldn’t get over how cute it was. So I used the items already in my closet and created a similar outfit. How great an example is that?
So, to conclude, the things we see and society deems beautiful and attractive become what people wear and how they act, which is basically our daily life. Now…did I answer the prompt, or did I answer the prompt?