Lucy Grealy's Autobiography Of A Face

411 Words2 Pages
No matter one’s career choice, family life, ethnicity, or culture, finding and owning one’s personal identity is a persistent struggle that can last an entire lifetime. One is surrounded by media and messages feigning “the perfect life” which begin to consume one’s thoughts with “what if’s” or “if only’s”. Lucy Grealy struggles with defining her self-image in her autobiography, Autobiography of a Face. Throughout Grealy’s accounts of her battle with cancer, bullies, and her self-esteem, readers get a raw, painful, yet incredibly relatable look into the elements that can contribute to self-image. In writing Autobiography of a Face, Grealy leaves readers with a chilling lesson: only readers themselves, not peers or the media or society, can choose how to define their lives. One must choose wisely and continually combat the world’s messages because self-image can set the stage for one’s entire life. Grealy’s struggles with self-esteem reveal the fluidity of one’s self-image. A confident young girl can evolve into an insecure teenager or adult because of a new circumstance or the damaging words of others. Grealy does not disclose extensive details about her life or sense of self-image before cancer, but a few brief scenes paint a picture of Grealy that only accentuates the deterioration of her self-esteem.…show more content…
Proud of my tomboy heritage, I’d dogmatically scorned any attempts to look pretty or girlish. A classmate named Karen had once told me I was beautiful, and by the third grade two boys had asked me to be their girlfriend, all of which bewildered me (62) While there is a common transition among pre-pubescent or pubescent children to an increased concern in appearance, it is evident that Grealy’s fixation on her outward appearance takes an unnatural turn. Being a cancer survivor undoubtedly changes one’s self-perception. Initially, Grealy pursued affirmation and acceptance from her
Open Document