Monday, April 16, 2012

The message of Beauty in the books we teach....

In my Young Adult Literature class we read The List by Siobhan Vivian. In this novel, the idea of beauty was very prominent.Some of my classmates said they would never teach this book because of the superficial content it featured. The book tells about the lives of several high schoolers and every year there is a list created that has the name of 8 girls, the prettiest and the ugliest from each grade. Although some may not like this idea, these are the kinds of things that high school students actually face today. Not only that, but, the sometimes controversial issue of beauty has plagued the human race since virtually the dawn of time. In class we did an activity that exemplified the Greek mythological story of when Eris, the Greek goddess of discord. In this story Eris placed an apple among three other goddesses and the apple was labeled “To the Fairest.” Each goddess wanted to be deemed as the fairest. This goes to show that people have been arguing about who is the most beautiful for thousands of years. Also, this particular story made me think of the story of Snow White, because the entire plot was driven on a disagreement about who was “the fairest of them all.” The story of Snow White is still popular today and the list is a new novel that is very popular today. It seems that opinions on beauty will forever be a part of human life, whether we like them or not. Hopefully as teachers, we will be able to still teach books such as these in a way that does not cause students to discredit their own beauty, but instead appreciate it.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone faces this, not only high school students. It's interesting because we're doing a short unit on beauty in my Women's Studies class and I've been overwhelmed with the sense of worthlessness that many young girls feel when they're not the thin or pretty ideal. Some people think we grow out of this as we get older and start thinking for ourselves, but we really just internalize it and figure out how we're going to live with it. I think this book has some value.

    Just very little, and very hard to find.