Two Or Three Things I Know For Sure Sparknotes

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In the book “Two or Three Things I Know for Sure” by Dorothy Allison the theme of beauty is brought to light in a way that is intersectional and develops the story to new heights. Beauty is discussed throughout the book and is one of the main themes. Allison talks about beauty when referencing her family and herself, and the idea of what it means to be beautiful in her mind based on how she grew up and where she came from. Normatively, beauty is associated with outward appearance and one’s identity, however beauty should be recognized as intersectional and include everyone, based not only on their outwards appearance but based on the beauty of their personality and thoughts because every human is beautiful in their own way. Dorothy Alison transforms …show more content…

While talking about her mother after she passed away and referencing a photo of her when she was young, Allison connects her mother’s specific type of beauty to the type of women that men normatively find attractive. She states, “My mother was beautiful, that hard thing, beautiful. Men wanted my mama, wanted her before she knew what it meant, when she was twelve, thirteen, still a child. She showed me once that snapshot of herself at fifteen; white socks and A-line skirt, hair in a Kitty Wells cloud, schoolgirl blouse, Peter Pan collar, and the most hesitant smile” (Allison 20). In this quote Allison not only refers to the theme of beauty but also connects it to sexuality and masculinity by saying “men wanted my mama”, she meant that they wanted her in a sexual way because she appeared beautiful on the outside (Allison 20). This shows masculinity and sexuality because normatively men are seen as the dominant figure in a heterosexual, cisgender relationship and as shown in the media typically through movies, if a man sees a woman he is physically attracted to, he is going to seduce her for sex because she appears sexy and beautiful on the outside, and no thought is given to her personality or any other identity traits she may have. This quote also states that her mother was far below the age of consent, only 12 or 13 years old, and was still a child which would mean that if the man she …show more content…

In these two scenes and in many other scenes and quotes throughout the book beauty is portrayed in a way that does not solely depend on outward appearance and is not defined by normative standards of class, sex, gender, sexuality, and femininity. Simone de Beauvoir’s thoughts in “The Second Sex” also agree with these statements by reiterating the fact that the “feminine woman” is a social construct and that society has controlled how people are supposed to think about normative beauty and women. Beauty cannot be defined. A woman cannot be defined. Beauty is an intersectional concept that includes all identities and all people regardless of outward appearance or what society says is beautiful. Women are not characterized as sexual objects, and do not have to identify as feminine, sexual, high class, normatively beautiful, attractive to men, or any other identities, if one feels they are a woman then they are a

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