Beauty is a play written by Jane Martin and it is an ironic play about two successful ladies by the name Bethany and Carla. Society has very peculiar characteristics and tendencies, and the play tries to portray the society through the eyes of Carla and Bethany. Both ladies are in the same age group yet their lives and characters are totally different from each other. Their personalities are also different and are unhappy about their lives. Nothing about their lives seems to make them happy; discontentment resolves around them. Jane Martin has characterized these ladies in this manner to illustrate different themes about life.
Carla is characterized as the perfect beautiful story, while Bethany is characterized as the ugly one. Carla and Bethany seem to have more differences than similarities. Carla is the famous and attractive famous catalog model who is going to become a big time model soon after speaking with Ralph Lauren (Martin 735). Bethany is the one with brains receiving a $40000 job offer straight from college. Neither of these girls appreciates what they have and they desire what each other has. This is how the society is. No one is contented with what they have. We wish to have a different life than the one we have now, thinking the moment we have it, it will make our lives much better and happier. Carla is beautiful but lacks brains and wit. Men give her attention due to her beauty to the point that her life revolves around men and she is always on the phone on conversation. She is not happy about her lack of intelligence, as it becomes difficult to remember to simple things like the page number she is reading on a book (Martin 250). Bethany on the other hand desires beauty and she define sit as the real deal making it a major aspect that is lacking in her life (Martin 251). The society wants more regardless of what we have.
There is a lot of pressure from the society. Young ladies are getting pressured in terms of beauty. They believe that beauty is everything and do not understand that there are also shortcomings. Carla has had an experience and problems related by being beautiful; her life is no longer private and she gets constant hassles on the streets from guys who want relationships with her. Therefore she tells Bethany to be careful of what she desires. This illustrates that despite getting advice and warning that what we want is not good, we are always determined to pursue it despite what it might cost us. We are willing to go an extra mile to explore the genie in the bottle to fulfil our wishes. Carla clearly expressed lack of knowledge when she filled a job application form written; Sign here. Her lack of knowledge was expressed when she put Sagittarius. In this society, it is very important to teach young ladies that knowledge is power and that both brains and beauty should be incorporated.
The play illustrates that being unhappy with ones life can lead to being envy of others achievements. The author deeply explains the importance of being happy with ones life and what we have. We should identify the good side of our life and make it our strength, despite the areas we are weak at. In todays society, girls are caught in trying to please others and look good to the extent that we forget to be happy with ourselves and what we have done. Today, to visualize a perfect body and try to imitate what beauty looks like, young girls read magazines, watch television and follow popular socialites on social media. Being you is effortless, than trying to please others which is more of a job. Low self-esteem is portrayed where Carla says that she has had to have a nose job. This means that every time she looked herself in the mirror, she saw imperfection and wrong things about her image rather than realizing the beauty that she already possessed. Bethany however wanted to gain acceptance from the outside world. What these two ladies dont realize is that there is more to life than looks; we should love ourselves, appreciate the skin we are in, as it is more rewarding than life itself.
The dialogue between Carla and Bethany depict elusive characteristics about the society where people are often not willing to accept opinions from others even where the opinions are right. From the beginning to the end of the play, Carla and Bethanys dialogue is in form of an argument. Their argument is because none of them is willing to listen and accept the viewpoint and opinion of the other. There is a portrayed level of ignorance seen in their self-assurance. This shows how people in the society are not willing and ready to accept or listen to opinions from others despite how beneficial they are in their lives. People are not willing to forego their opinions no matter how stereotyping they are.
Jealousy between Carla and Bethany brings problems in their friendship. Carla and Bethany do not care about each more or their friendship as much as they secretly envy each other. Carla never thought that Bethany would wish to be like her, and she thought that Bethany actually disliked her. The truth is that both of them disliked each other. Jealousy was the one thing they had in common. Being jealous of each other meant that they had intolerance of rivalries. Neither of them said how they felt about each other, but behind each others back, they tried to imitate each other and wished they were them. Their jealousy to each other was so strong that they switched places and became each other. When they switched, they both wanted to go back to what they were before. They were not happy with who they had become (DSouza 12)
They thought that grass is always greener on the other side but that was not true. These can be related to how women in the current society are discontented with their bodies to the point where they alter their looks to look good. Social media is portraying beauty as thin and nothing short of that is ugly (Walton 4). People in the society tend to see their negative point and forget that even the other has negative points. They tend to gauge their accomplishments and achievements with that of others only seeing drawbacks in their lives. In conclusion, this play offers advice to the society stating that we should stop looking for happiness in the wrong places as it diminishes our ego and deflates our accomplishment. We should value and be proud of what we have, unlike Carla and Bethany who regretted after losing what they had.
D'Souza, Richard. "Jealousy in relationships." (2015).
Martin, Jane . Beauty . Jane Martin: Collected Plays. Lyme, NH: Smith and Kraus, 1995. 249- 254. Print.
Walton, Alice G . Can The Media Help Shift Our Beauty Ideals Back In A Healthy Direction? Forbes. Information for the Worlds Business Leaders Forbes.com. N.p., 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.
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