Masks By Grealy Analysis

1360 Words6 Pages
Molding Expectations At one point or another, everyone has felt insecure about the way they look or apprehensive about how people see them. Throughout every stage of life we’re expected to act a certain way, to dress appropriately, and to respond properly in social environments. What happens when someone doesn’t fit the norm? In the article “Masks” Lucy Grealy shares an emotional story of depression, isolation, self-worth, and loneliness because of how she looks. She was different than people expected her to be. If we don’t fit the ideal cultural assumptions of beauty than who are we? What determines our identity if we’re not socially acceptable? According to Webster Dictionary identity is the qualities and beliefs that make a particular…show more content…
If you look at what influences us, most celebrities have a standard look. Their bodies are proportionate; their facial features are symmetrical, makeup to cover any imperfections, etc. This is the ideal beauty. The way we dress also contributes to how we’re judged by other people. The biggest fault to how other people see is that eventually, once you’ve heard something enough times, you start believing them. Someone could be unique, intriguing, stimulating, and have the most beautiful personality but half their body could be disfigured form burns and people judge by the first physical impression. When Grealy finishes a night of trick-or-treating and removes her mask, she states, “At home, when I tool the mask off, I felt both sad and relieved. Sad because I had felt like a pauper walking for a few brief hours in the clothes of a prince and because I had liked it so much. Relieved because I felt no connection with that kind of happiness; I didn’t deserve it and thus I shouldn’t want it.” (Page 71) Grealy had been belittled for so long on a daily basis that she believed she was nothing more than this ugly monster that doesn’t deserve love or friendship. She considered it a weakness. After reading a verse from a book called “The Prophet” she shuts it and states, “I wanted nothing to do with the world of love; I thought wanting love was a weakness to be overcome. And besides, I thought to myself, the world of…show more content…
When she had to return to chemotherapy, she was almost happy to go because it was familiar and she was accepted. She always had a companion there whether it was a doctor, nurse, or another patient. She was no longer the outcast. A lot of her time was spent criticizing “normal” people for wanting to be somebody else when all she wanted to be was like everyone else. She defined herself as an individual base on how other people saw her. The only time Grealy was truly comfortable was on Halloween when she could hide behind a mask and interact with people without fear or judgment. The sad truth about today’s society is that being dramatically different, whether it is a deformity or disability, almost always puts you in the outcast category. There have been people that have tried to change how society reacts to differences whether it is sexual orientation, race, disability, or physical deformities but the truth is that history repeats itself. No matter what time period you read about, there’s always some form of judgment between people. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. We can only hope that one day society won’t be as easily influenced as mindless zombies and jump out of the endless circle of insanity. Physical beauty takes center stage in the role of life. If you see someone in dirty clothes pushing a shopping cart, you assume they’re homeless. If you see someone

More about Masks By Grealy Analysis

Open Document