Critique essay (the story of my body) critical thinking sample

Most girls worry about their appearance even the most beautiful. There is always that thing that a girl will hate on their bodies and that is why they will always revisit the mirror. It is one thing to worry about those things hat girls add on to their bodies. Things such as polish on their finger nails as well as mascara on their eye lashes and even lipstick on their lips. It is another thing all together, to worry about their size, shape, complexion, hair and other body features. This is the story we get in the short story The Story of My Body by Judith Ortiz Cofer. In the story, Ortiz dwells on the inside wars that a young girl goes through because of her feelings of inadequacy. She feels that she does not measure up to the expectations of society but does it really matter that some people treat her like a lesser human being. One thing is for sure, that Ortiz dwells so much on attributes that are discriminatory in nature even though the story is interesting.
She begins the story by highlighting the privileges she had as a white girl born in Puerto Rico and moves so fast to life in the United States where the harsh realities of being a colored first hit her so hard. She was the darling of everyone and she was a proud girl because everyone seemed to acknowledge her. This came to an end upon arriving in the United States as she started being looked upon. Ortiz insinuates, through her skin color, that she received a racist treatment and therefore became discriminated against. Her appearance and those of the coloreds and blacks is used in bad light because dwelling so much on issues skin color in a country that is home to people from different races portrays America as a country that is discriminatory and that it is not welcoming to people from outside. Apparently being white is the gauge which Ortiz uses as a benchmark for belonging, something that is out rightly wrong.
She divides her story into four distinctive parts which are titled skin, color, size and looks. These parts represent the four parts of her identity which she uses to categorize herself with regard to her appearance. She uses her childhood experiences to modify her perceptions about the new society she finds herself in outside of Puerto Rico. She was a happy bubbly Puerto Rican girl while growing up at her home country. This changed the moment she discovered how people looked at her in her skin away from home. All over sudden, she was faced a transformation that made her look like an alien. At this point, one wonders why Ortiz uses this transformation to bring out a girl who was so troubled deep inside. The people who surrounded her changed her perception for the worst and it is against this background that relocating to a new country, more so the United States of America is depicted as the worst kind of experience that one can have. This to a great extent is not true.
The media and society has created a standard form of beauty and those people who do not meet the expectations set, they will always be intimidated. This standard form of beauty is what Ortiz highlights and embraces in the writing of the story. It becomes evident that a girl, especially one who has reached adolescence becomes very conscious about their physical appearance. In the story, the standard form of beauty id that one has to be white, tall, and big and must also have exceptional looks in order to be accepted. That is why; one may resort to other things in order to prove her worth. This is what the girl does, she performs well in her class work in order to intimidate those that she feels have the physical capabilities of being great and acceptable. She says that ” I had brains for sure and some talent in writing. These facts were a constant in my life. My skin color, my size, and my appearance were variables things that were judged according to my current self-image, the aesthetic values of the time, the places I was in, and the people I met” ()This approach may be misleading to many people who might read this story and get to relate to the inadequacies that torment the girl in question. Instead, the story should have taken a different approach whereby physical appearances, no matter how they are, ought to be appreciated because no one chooses where to be born.
Ortiz dwells so much on stereotypes that have been set up by society. It takes an individual to be what society expects in order to fit in, at least according to Ortiz. It did not matter at all that she was a normal girl growing up in a different country away from her country. It did not matter that she was a bright student. And it did not matter too that she had feelings, interests and dreams as any other girl, brown, white or black. Ortiz presents a girl who was troubled deep inside. This girl is on the verge of losing her head because of the discriminatory attitude that she received from her peers. But is this the nature of the American society? Was there no other person that she could run to seek help as a friend, when everybody else seemed not to notice her strengths? Subconsciously, there is suffering that is experienced by Ortiz and this is what is most interesting. But Ortiz chooses to ignore this suffering and chooses to highlight the experiences without really saying the truth about what ails her.
Ortiz is on her path towards discovering her true identity. There are several challenges that she faces but this does not mean she is a weakling. Her story just tells of the negative experiences that come with immigration. Not even at the super market does she get fair treatment. White girls seem to be better placed and have an advantage over the rest of the girls. This form of stereotyping, which Ortiz uses paints all the other races as inferior to white. Ortiz depicts a scenario where children, while growing up, will identify with societal stereotypes. This may work negatively on the ego and personality of children, more so at adolescence. When the author uses such words as “ maybe dirty brown is your natural color” she implies that skin colors are associated to something negative and in this case, brown is associated with brown colored persons. There is a kind of discrimination that is seen throughout the story that is only seen through the eyes of racism as well as body shape and size.