The Story of My Body” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, and “Never Just Pictures” by Susan Bordo Essay Sample

Appearance is the first mark of individuality and personality that a individual shows. The bulk of the people are used to judge by visual aspect alternatively of personality. but what happens when our personality and visual aspect are straight connected? Most of us would believe that our organic structure and our individuality are someway contradictory. but the world is another. Our organic structure and individuality are both shaped by the media and influenced by some other elements of our society: friends. topographic point. and instruction. We reflect what we think it is right in the sentiments of others. This thought is expanded and explained in two essays: “The Story of My Body” written by Judith Ortiz Cofer. and “Never Just Pictures” by Susan Bordo.

In the first essay. Cofer suggest that our organic structure plays an indispensable function in our societal life. The differences of race. colour. and size can make many uncomfortable state of affairss in our adolescence. She tells us the narrative of her organic structure and the different state of affairss that she experienced. One of them was the isolation that many kids suffer based on their expression. The media has created a “standard beauty” in our society. and those who do non run into with the demands are excluded. Judith besides suggests that we can get the better of all those erroneous judgements by demoing other endowments like composing. In her essay she states. “I had encephalons for certain and some endowment in composing. These facts were a changeless in my life. My skin colour. my size. and my visual aspect were variables things that were judged harmonizing to my current self-image. the aesthetic values of the clip. the topographic points I was in. and the people I met” ( 214 ) . All the images created by the media are variables that we can avoid.

The environment in which we live has its ain definition of what beauty is. In many Latin Americans states I have visited. a bronzed miss was a batch more attractive than a white miss was. The media targets its public. finds a common ideal. and so uses it. Judith references that this was a disadvantage in her school were the bulk were white misss. She says. “The hierarchy for popularity was as follows: pretty white miss. pretty Judaic miss. reasonably Puerto Rican miss. and pretty black girl” ( 212 ) . There were favourites. and they were the “representation” of the type of school she went. All the jobs mentioned by Judith Ortiz are caused by the influence of the media. Bordo who focuses in the manner adult females are depicted explains all these influences.

“Never Just Pictures” is the rubric of Susan Bordo’s article on which the media is criticized of pull stringsing our ideals refering a adult females organic structure. The bulk of modern-day adult females theoretical accounts are thin. tall. and reasonably. Bordo provinces. “Eating upsets are besides linked to the contradictions of consumer civilization. which is continually encouraging us to gorge on our desires at the same clip as it glamorizes self-discipline and scorns fat as a symbol of indolence and deficiency of willpower” ( 238 ) . Advertisers are ever stating us to make what we want to make in order to experience comfy. but they besides tell us to curtail ourselves and remain in manner. These contradictory thoughts play with the consumer and sometimes drive them brainsick. In most of the instances creates an compulsion for beauty that can do eating upsets. Anorexia and binge-eating syndrome are the most popular feeding upsets among immature adult females.

However advertizers non merely sell this theoretical account image. they have besides created a new tendency in manner with the called “heroin chick” . as Susan provinces. “The theoretical accounts appear dislocated and withdrawn. with chipped black nail gloss and oily hair. gazing out at the spectator in a dead like enchantment. looking to be hardly a person” ( 239 ) . They are portraying depression and decease as a manner of being beautiful. Susan explains in her article that harmonizing to Freud. decease is non the devastation of the ego but it is a manner to liberate all the unrealized anxiousnesss. Advertisers have created many different manners of what is considered beautiful. Our self-esteem is vulnerable to the commentaries of other people and that is why many decide to alter in order to suit in any of this manners.

I consider myself one of those individuals who blindly believed what the media showed me. My organic structure has changed over the old ages drastically. The first old ages of my life. I was fat and I liked it ; I felt comfy with my image and many of my relations felt the same manner. It was a sudden alteration when I started school. The bulk of my schoolmates were scraggy. athletic. and even taller. I felt like an castaway the first two old ages of school. Finally I joined a swimming squad and took Kung Fu categories. Both helped me a batch. The image we have opens the possibility to be accepted in groups. I considered it normal. but mean ; it was nil like a pick. Nowadays I know that the organic structure we have is non every bit of import as our personality. I relate my experience with Judith Cofer because I felt awkward and less of import than the remainder during those old ages. I am convinced that is a affair of adulthood excessively. Now that I am 17 old ages old. I accept people for what they are alternatively pf what they look like. I consider that image is of import for first feelings. but nil else. We should care about it for certain. but restricting ourselves. In my instance. the media did non straight act upon me. My friends played an of import function in finding how I wanted to look like.

The procedure of altering my organic structure was largely exercise. I was six when my pa decided that swimming categories and Kung Fu would assist me being healthier and happier. At the beginning. I did non hold merriment making exercising. It was difficult and I used to acquire tired easy. something unusual for childs of my age. It took me about four hebdomads to acquire adapted. by that clip I had friends who made both categories a batch more gratifying than before. I believe that it did non hold an compulsion and that I did non hold any eating upset. The alteration of my image elevated my assurance. doing it easier for me to interact with people. I do non see that I have a perfect organic structure. but neither have I thought that I am in the other extreme. I am merely in the center. and what is of import is that I feel comfy with myself.

In decision. media has a enormous duty in their custodies. Advertisers should recognize this and put some of their money with those people who have been affected. Tobacco companies are an illustration of what should be done. Addictions do non merely transport physical diseases but besides mental. They need aid. Anorexia is going more popular. The best manner to assist people with eating upsets or any other sort of advertizement is to make an organisation in charge of make up one’s minding what is non traveling to impact the population. This organisation should besides assist people who have been affected by the media. Companies should give back some of their money to the community ; a possible thought is to implement a revenue enhancement in order to roll up the necessary money. We need to equilibrate the relation between the consumer and the marketer.


1. Bordo. Susan. “Never Just Images. ” Sing and Writing. Ed. Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade. New York. Bedford/St Martin’s. 2000. 236-240.

2. Cofer. Judith. “The Story of My Body. ” Sing and Writing. Ed. Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade. New York. Bedford/St Martin’s. 2000. 208-214.