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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:09 pm 
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I've got to do a talk in English. It's part of my grade, but won't count towards my final GCSE. I was moved to set 1 (hell yeah! I've been working for that for six years!) in my English and my teacher is lovely. The talk is in front of the class but as I don't know anyone and I'm new it'll be in front of the teacher only. Plus, my topic will only get me some bad response from all the pretty people. The talk is on something we feel strongly about. I feel very strongly about physical appearance, and how much it will affect our lives. How much it affects our lives now. So, I've got some plans. I'd like to impress the teacher (don't I sound geeky? :geek: ) but I'm at a loss. I tend to sound incredibly personal in my writing, and while this piece allows it, I'd like some help. I've got the idea of it all, and I've written my main bit. The talk lasts for 5 minutes, and if not apparently the teacher will make it so :lol: I'm quiet and if I haven't got good material I might as well have nothing. So, I thought, hey, why not turn to petopia? You lot are all lovely here and helpful and I can think of a certain someone who is very good with her writing. If it's alright, I'd like some advice on what I've written and where I can go with it. Yes, there'll be typos and whatnot. This was written in fifteen. I couldn't do more, as for some odd reason I was tearing up. So, if you don't like big walls of text I suggest not turning to read it. It's not as long as it could and should be, but it's not short in any way. Righty...here we go.

--Body image. It's become such a huge part in our society. Our looks define us as a person, perhaps more than our initial personality does. People won't see that you are a kind person. They'll see a warm smile, perhaps a cute complexion. They won't see that you're shy. They'll see someone hiding behind their hair, avoiding eye contact and easily forced into submission. But looks don't just define us as our personality does. They used to reflect who you were. A sign that you were a good or bad person perhaps. Now, although you may be beautiful on the inside and have a loving heart, but people will only see the flaws that you bare. Those imperfections speak louder than any words ever will. Got dodgy teeth? Evidently doesn't go to the dentist. Has glasses? Is a nerd. Has scruffy hair and wears hoodies? Drug addict. We all will see different things, different flaws, but it's all got one word. Ugly.

The word ugly had no definition. I may go to someone on the streets and ask them what they perceive as ugly. They may say 'messy hair', they may say 'wonky teeth'. But if I was to go to someone else, they may see messy hair as a cute and attractive feature. Someone else might see wonky teeth as perfectly fine. We aren't all born with straight teeth are we? I certainly wasn't, and I'm confident in saying the vast majority of us have some wonk in our teeth. This is easily fixed. Wear braces for a year and you're done. You've got lovely teeth now. Most imperfections can be fixed. Make-up can get rid of most flaws you may have. That scar you've got from some rabid nine year old? A touch of concealer and it's gone. Those pimples you're suffering from? Concealer and a little foundation solves that problem. People don't see what you don't want them to see. However, concealer won't fix that crooked nose. It won't fix the broader chin you've got. It won't fix those problems. So what do you do? Do you go on with your life and try to accept these imperfections?

Apparently not. Thousands of pounds are spent on people who feel they need the plastic surgery, but in truth they don't. That crooked nose? Someone probably finds it cute. That broad chin? It's not broad at all. It's fine, but of course people will keep on chipping away at these tiny imperfections until you're convinced that you're that word. That word they call you, perhaps behind your back, perhaps in irony of you. The word that defines itself. Ugly.

No one wants to be called it. People use it all the time, and have no idea how much it hurts when someone will just come out with it. It goes a little something like this.

You and your friend are walking with this new guy. You don't like this boy, or maybe you do. Your friend does, and you're shy. You don't want to say much. It comes to your friends stop and you get that conversation that continues halfway done the road until one of the people involved decides it's best to stop yelling nonsense that no one else wants to hear. The boy will say something, and your friend, who's confident with their physical appearance will snap "Hey! Are you calling me ugly?!" and you know shots are about to be fired. However, the boy (remember, you've done nothing to this guy) just shakes his head, and comments "No, I'm calling her ugly." And you realise his finger is pointing directly at you.

He didn't think. It was automatic. Quicker than a click of the fingers. Your friend doesn't say anything. That's not that bad. She can't yell down the road forever. However, it's the fact that this person came out with it and said it right to your face, yet didn't say it to you at all. You were right there, and they had no issue telling your friend that you are ugly, at all. They didn't think how much that that comment would hurt. How you smiled and laughed it off, but you don't want to talk to them anymore. It's tempting to kick them, punch them, do anything to them to make the, feel that pain they made you feel for that moment. But you don't. You'll keep walking, and you realise that that person isn't speaking to you. You might as well just walk off. But no. You walk them to their door and then rush home, up to he bathroom and study yourself in the mirror. What was it? Your teeth? Your hair? Your eyes? Perhaps it was the fact you hadn't gotten off so lucky in the pimple department? What made them think it was okay to tell you that?! At what point is it okay, to tell someone they're ugly?! It's not. It never is.

Perhaps, it's the one off. That one person wasn't exactly the nicest individual you've ever met anyway, so you shake it off. But then you're at the park, with your mate. The same mate. She's said nothing. You're with two boys. One think so he's all cool, the hot stuff of the gang. The other boy is an oddball, but pleasant. You're just talking, and the boy who's a little odd becomes the topic of conversation. The boy who's all it comments that this person is a little ugly. You shake your head to yourself, and give them a pitiful look. Your friend hasn't said anything. The boy then looks at you, and says "Seems you two have something in common!"

Same as before. They didn't think. That person doesn't care those two comments stack up. You're already building a picture in your head. Your friend didn't defend you at all. Does she agree? That's two people. It only gets worse. Someone in your class comments that your boyfriend is blind, for going out with you. This links to your looks and you add that to the stack. Are you that bad looking? No one jumped to defend you. It'll only get worse, and one day you're in sainsburys, in the cereal isle. Your friends are debating wether the tropical or strawberry granola would be best. Some boys come up to you. They approach, or one does, and remains quiet. He nears, and looks curious. He says nothing. You, of course, lean forward to see who this strange human is. And when he sees you, he looked generally concerned. And slightly disgusted. He quickly backs off, whispering something to his mates as they hurry off. Was it your looks? Surely not. But you think to those other times. Yes. It was your looks. You scared someone off because of your looks. To make it worse, your boyfriend isn't with you anymore. It's alright. He only texted you in the morning once with the message "Hey beautiful." in the two years you were together. Two years and he called you beautiful once. It'll stack and stack. The pain won't get any better. You're ugly, and you've read about it. Ugly people are less likely to get jobs. You get paid slightly less. You're less likely to get promotions at work. You believe you're doomed. You won't find a job, although you've got high grades. You won't get paid as much as that pretty girl next to you. You won't get promoted, as no one wants an ugly manager do they? Make-up doesn't help. You feel fake. But without it, you're ugly. You start to feel as if you're forever alone. As if you've got no one. Your ugly, let's face it. No one would want to lift the veil and see you there, looking at them with your nasty eyes and smiling at them with those crooked teeth. Of course not. No child wants an ugly mother. No grandchild wants an ugly grandma. No ones going to mourn you when you're dead. You were ugly anyway. Doesn't matter. You don't matter to anyone. No one wants you around. Not anymore.--

Yes I can relate to this. Yes, all these things I describe have happened to me. So I know what I'm talking about. It's why I made it. A way to vent my frustrations and to also get it out there that (and his will be included, just written more grandly) and ugly holds no definition. The only thing it describes is itself. Beauty and perfection holds no definition. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and our imperfection aren't imperfections. They're something we live with, and something people should accept.
Now, for some odd reason, I find myself bloomin tearing up again. I'll go find a tissue and then write some more. Don't worry, I won't post the entire thing. However, if someone was willing to read the final product then that'd be great :D

Is there a maximum word count for a post? I might've reached it, or be close to it :lol: :ugeek:

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:51 am 
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alright, I don't want to sound harsh and take all of this with a grain of salt.

First off--what exactly is the purpose of the speech? Is it supposed to be a persuasive speech? Informative? Are you supposed to be proving a point? It mostly just sounds like an anecdote filled rant. Generally most speeches have some sort of angle or point to them that you're trying to prove. Kind of like an essay, you know?

Assuming the point of your speech is proving societies' opinions on appearance, then while anecdotes are good, if it's a formal graded speech you're probably gonna want to some data to back it up. Which can be hard, considering the whole topic is very heavily opinion based. Maybe look into the whole Black Doll experiment? That discusses racism affected perceptions such as 'ugliness' or not.

Anyways, parts of the speech that stood out to me--

"It comes to your friends stop and you get that conversation that continues halfway done the road until one of the people involved decides it's best to stop yelling nonsense that no one else wants to hear."

Something is awkward about this sentence. I've reread it several times and I still can't quite make heads or tails of it. And I'm not quite where the placement of the people are in your story. Is the person in the story away from the other two? How can they hear the person? What's happening?

"He didn't think. It was automatic. Quicker than a click of the fingers. Your friend doesn't say anything. That's not that bad. She can't yell down the road forever."

That last sentence has the same problem as above. I don't think I quite understand it. Who's the she? Where did the whole yelling down the road thing come from?

"Some boys come up to you. They approach, or one does, and remains quiet. He nears, and looks curious. He says nothing. You, of course, lean forward to see who this strange human is. And when he sees you, he looked generally concerned. And slightly disgusted. He quickly backs off, whispering something to his mates as they hurry off. Was it your looks? Surely not. But you think to those other times. Yes. It was your looks. You scared someone off because of your looks."

'who this strange human is' sounds really weird. I don't if that's intentional--are you implying that the person in your story isn't human? That's certainly how it sounds. Stranger would simply work better. Also, if some person leaned down towards me and got up in my grill I'd probably back off and run too. ;)

I take it this is only the first part of the speech and you're just listing anecdotes? I noticed you said this wasn't the final product. In that case, I would recommend fixing clarity in some things, break the anecdotes some, maybe cut out a few you don't need. One or two little anecdotes would do just fine. Be careful not to make it sound ranty--there's a difference between passionate and making it sound like a rant. You want to go with a passionate, if factual, speech, not a rant. I assume it's for school and thereby is a formal speech, so remember to stay somewhat formal and professional. You don't have to detach yourself, but don't get too personal.

That said, what you have so far is shaping up to be a good speech. I do like anecdotes in a speech--it gives it a personal element that makes it unique. And I think if you clarify and sort it out some, this will make a fantastic start.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Yes it was meant to be a personal speech. It does sound more like a rant, but I'll sort that out at some point. I've got another week to fix it up, so I should have time. This is the introduction, if I speak this aloud it'd only a minute and a half max. The rest of this will be more factual, and focusing in the media and how it's changed our views on appearance.

To clear confusion, the 'she' is the friend who's now outside her door. The other two are walking away from her, but still continuing with the conversation they're having. I'll have to edit that bit, so I don't confuse people :) I was meant to imply that the girl had stopped at her door, but now I read back it's a little hard to clarify. That's another thing n my list to adjust then! Oh English...how I despise thee so :?

I'll also have to make that boy who I spoke of become human, although how can I be certain he was human? :lol: I kid. I'll make him a human again.

Thank you Azunara for the advice! I'll get onto it as soon as I've finished up on some other homework (bloomin circles...why do I need to know what your circumference is?! You're round. Surely that's enough information...) not harsh at all. Just incredibly informative, so thank you :mrgreen:

I was starting to think no one had seen this and so it was left at the bottom for someone to pick up several months later. Apparently not.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Hey, I try! I can only hope I didn't come off as too snappish or criticizing. I blame so many AP classes.../shudders

But no, it's certainly a good start once you work out the kinks!


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