On Beauty "… reading, observation and personal experience…"



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AP English Language and Composition

On Beauty

“…reading, observation and personal experience…”

Beauty is valuable. There is no doubt of that. We live in a world that prizes beauty and rewards those who are believed to be beautiful. This can seem most unfair until you come to understand what beauty really is and what part it plays in your life. ~Loren

Carefully reflect upon and consider the above passage, excerpted from Sophia Loren’s essay “Women and Beauty,” published in 1984. Then, write a thoughtful essay which delineates and develops a position in response to it. Support your view with evidence drawn from/base upon your reading on the subject (included but not limited to The Barbie Chronicles, essays by Sontag, Loren, Lord and others), your specific observations concerning culture/history, and your personal experience.

* You must mention your position in response to Loren’s claim! (i.e. “Loren is correct in claiming that beauty is valuable but…”)

Suggested length: 2-4 pages, MLA format

***You will need to use in-text citation and include a Works Cited page.

Draft DUE: Friday, February 5th

Final Draft Due: Tuesday, February 9th

“A Woman’s Beauty: Put-Down or Power Source?” by Susan Sontag (Fifty Great Essays)

“The Face of Beauty” by Diane Ackerman (Subjects/Strategies)

“Cure or Quest for Perfection?” by Ellen Goodman (The Arlington Reader)

“Our Barbies, Ourselves” by Emily Prager (The Bedford Reader)

“Barbie Gets a Bum Rap: Barbie’s Place in the World of Dolls” by Sherrie Inness (The Barbie Chronicles)

* * * * * *

Amorello, Sandi. “It’s Still a Barbie World.” The Forecaster 11 Apr. 2011: 6-7. Print.

Angier, Natalie. “Drugs, Sports, Body Image and G.I. Joe.” NY Times on the Web 22 Dec. 1998. The New York Times Company. 2 Apr. 2006.

Beck, Martha. “Here’s Looking at You, Kid!” O, The Oprah Magazine. Apr. 2006: 266-8.

Bloom, Lynn, and Louise Smith, eds. The Arlington Reader: Canons and Contexts. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

DiYanni, Robert, ed. Fifty Great Essays. Boston: Longman, 2002.

Eschholz, Paul and Alfred Rosa, eds. Subjects/Strategies: A Writer’s Reader. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002.

Hamill, Jane. “A Grown-up Barbie.” NPR Morning Edition. 22 May 2006. National Public Radio. 26 May 2006.

Hymowitz, Kay. “Thank Barbie for Britney: She’s not that innocent.” National Review Online 3 May 2002. 15 April 2005.

Kennedy, X., Dorothy Kennedy and Jane Aaron, eds. The Bedford Reader. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.

Loren, Sophia. Women and Beauty. 1st ed. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984.

McDonough, Yona. The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.



McCarthy, Wil. “Thin! Tan! Hotter than Hell!” Wired 1 June 2002. Web. 6 Apr. 2006.


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