Beauty Is All A Girl Needs – English Essay
In many children stories beauty is a highly emphasized trait. Though it many not seem that way, but in stories like Joseph Jacobs’ “Catskin” or Grimm’s “Cinderella” beauty is a major factor behind the events of the story.
Both stories basically boil down to, if the girl is beautiful, she is going to be fine.
In Grimm’s “Cinderella” the concept of beauty is what it’s all about. When Cinderella is at her house she wears rags and beat up clothes because she is doing all the house work. She is not beautiful because she has to work. But when she is at the wedding and in her lovely dress, everyone notices her and even the prince himself is impressed. “Her sister and her step mother had no idea who she was. She looked so beautiful in the dress of gold that they thought she must be the daughter of a foreign king.” (Grimm 119). When she puts on her dress she becomes a totally different person, the kind that isn’t supposed to be cleaning the house. She is so beautiful that the prince then goes a quest to find her again. But because she isn’t wearing the dress he can’t be sure. Her now lack of beauty has caused the prince to go around with her sister. Because Cinderella is back in her rags, she can’t be the one from the wedding. Without her dress on, she once again changes back into the cleaning lady. When the prince does finally find her, she puts her dress back on and changes back into the “daughter of a foreign king”. And because she is so beautiful she gets to marry the prince and never have to clean again. She doesn’t get married because she is a nice person, funny or anything other sort of trait a person looks for, it’s simple because she was the most beautiful person at the wedding.
Joseph Jacobs’ “Catskin” the young girl had many fine dresses made for her. When she was looking for work she was the same as Cinderella, she wore her catskin dress so she looked like a cleaning lady. But when a ball comes around she sneaks out and puts on her most lovely dress and impresses everyone with her beauty, including the prince. She does this a second time and “…everyone was surprised at so beautiful a face and a form dressed in so rich and rare a dress….” (Jacobs 124). Once again the theme her is, look the best, then the prince will want you and you will never have to do anything ever again. This theme is condensed into about 2 pages but its still as strong. Before she met the prince she was working in the kitchen. In her catskin no one could she here beauty because of her horrible dressing. “…you go among all the fine lords and ladies with your filthy catskin? A fine figure you’d cut!” (Jacobs 123). Proving that in the wrong clothing, she is ugly. If it was not for her stash of great dresses she would have never impressed the prince enough. And because she was the most beautiful and married the prince, “…they lived happy ever afterwards.” (Jacobs 125). Once again stressing that if you look good, bag the rich guy, you are all set.
Grimm’s “Cinderella” and Jacobs’ “Catskin” both show beyond a doubt, that if the you are beautiful you are all set. Women need not have any other real skills, talents or what have you, so long as they are beautiful. And in today society this idea of being as beautiful as you can is being forced on everyone, everyday.