Our beliefs of what being attractive means differ from person to person. Even though we all have our own opinions, our minds are all effected by the media and what they thinks qualifies you as being attractive. Most men and women think of their looks in different ways. Men, usually, stick to the same opinion their entire life. Women on the other hand, never think their appearance is good enough. Ever. “The Ugly Truth About Beauty” (1998) By Dave Berry, touches upon what women actually think of themselves and why that is, and how irrelevant most of our efforts are in the eyes of men. In this essay Dave Berry argues how women spend countless hours on their “beauty” and men seem not to care.
He touches upon this by saying “Their primary form of beauty is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same form of beauty care they give to their lawns.” Berry uses exaggeration and humor to make fun of the male and female behavior, and to shed a little light on the beauty industry. When He tries to argue his point he addresses each gender, focusing on young adults. He writes about it in a humorous way, but still keeps it serious enough.
Berry talks about the female views of beauty by using a model, Cindy Crawford (as if she were the female standard) and for the men, Brad Pitt. He uses brad Pitt as an example not of how men should be but almost as an example of what they should not be. It felt as if he was implying that Brad Pitt is a pretty boy and he is irrelevant when it comes to the tasks of real men.
Barry uses Barbie, and action figures as examples of what men and women think they should be. For the women- Barbie is what they think they should look like. Men on the other hand, think they should act and carry themselves as the action figure would, not necessarily what they should look like. Barry definitely wrote this article with a purpose in mind, but kept the seriousness light to prevent from losing his reader. He touched upon social norms that we all know are there, norms that (as woman) we know we are very guilty of. Barry definitely had a purpose behind that specifically; it felt as if he was purposely putting those ladies on blast, saying “hey ladies, we know you do this but, we really don’t care.”
We all know we watch those silly TV shows, in this case Oprah, for makeup tips that won’t make our faces any different to everyone else. In the article Barry says “No matter how attractive a woman may appear to be to others, she looks in the mirror and thinks three words: ‘not good enough’” He then goes on to say how we compare ourselves to dogs, and truthfully we do. It is evident in the very beginning of the article that Barry’s target audience is males. Even though targets males, he clearly makes fun of both men and women in a humorous light-hearted way to shed some light on the so called beauty industry. Another reason that you can tell he is writing for males is that the entire article is only two pages in length.
That alone is enough to tell that he was aiming towards a male audience. That could also go for young adults though, considering the fact that people in that age category do not enjoy long reading for fun. Barry says, “Most men, I believe, think of themselves as average-looking. Men will think this even if their faces cause heart failure in cattle at a range of 300 yards” he includes some humor to keep the readers reading. I also noticed that his target audience is not just males but average males. Like college students and working class men. This article is not really backed up with factual information, but instead he uses real life examples in comparison with what females think in their heads. This article is more of a personal style.
This is where the humor lies. Barry starts off a new paragraph with “Why do we have such low self esteem? There are many complex psychological and societal reasons…” and at this point, you think he is about to bring some factual evidence into the essay that actually means something. Instead he says, “By which I mean Barbie” yes, the psychological reason females have un realistic expectations is because of a doll. He tells us about the height and weight of what “real life” Barbie would be. To me this is Barry’s evidential support, this is about the only time in the entire article he uses numbers.
Later on in the article he says “men don’t notice 97% of the efforts women put in anyways” and “”The average woman spends 5,000 hours per year worrying about her fingernails” That is all of the facts and evidential support he uses for the entire article. Because this article is based mostly on Barry’s personal feelings and senses, instead of facts, he has to really elaborate on points that he tries to make. If he doesn’t make them sound factual, and that they have something to do with the essay he won’t draw the reader in. You would just get lost. He does a good job at that. The difference between senses and facts is that it doesn’t make a difference what one believes about something; things that are of real value are what you’ll be able to back it up with. In this article you are drawing upon the authors senses, because there is barely any “real” facts.
We are going based solely upon life stories of the writer and his senses. I came to the conclusion that instead of having one focal idea for the entire essay, Barry has two main points. Women put tons of effort into their appearance, trying to perfect their beauty. Men on the other hand, do not. I agree with everything the author touched upon about how woman portray themselves. Because of that, it was extremely hard for me to argue against the points he made. There is not much factual information in this article, so I can not elaborate on what could be “right” or “wrong”. All of the applications Barry made in this article were appropriate. For example, everything he stated about Cindy Crawford. He states that no matter how hard those women in the audience tried to apply their products like Cindy Crawford, they would never look like her.
Also, they may even look the same as they did when they applied their makeup how they used to. Barry claims the reason many women are obsessed with looking a certain way (or his example, like Cindy Crawford) is because men want them to look that way. Once again Barry is using personal knowledge, instead of factual evidence, to back up his writing. Even though he uses personal knowledge, there is an exactness throughout his essay that makes the reader feel as if Barry is presenting a case to you. Barry says if he had to express in three words what most women think about their appearance it would be “not good enough”, in my opinion that is very accurate. Dave Berry, touches upon what women actually think of themselves and why that is, and how irrelevant most of our efforts are in the eyes of men. Barry argues his points by addressing each gender.
While addressing each gender he uses humor, but kept it serious enough. He kept the serious feel alive by bringing in outside worldly examples such As dolls and celebrities to get his point across. Barry did write this article targeting males, but added things for women, using real life examples we all could relate to. The personal style of this essay was evident, considering he had little factual evidence to support his thesis. Though he had little factual evidence Barry did a
spectacular job exposing the truth to his readers.
Courtney from Study Moose