What We Talk about when We Talk about Beauty : A Short Prose

180410120050 / C

Summary: Three young girls, who always complained about their physical appearance, learned how to live in gratitude.

“Hello, el. La. Ella. Ella. Ella. Ella.”

“Come on, Bi. Don’t call my name over and over again.”

“Let’s catch up. It’s really boring that I have nothing to do this weekend.”

“Alright, where do you want us to meet? Pasto Cafe or another café that we have never tried?”

“Pasto. Pasto café. At Pasto Café. Don’t forget to tell Jasmine about it, okay?”

“Okay, see you later.”

After that short conversation, the three young girls decided to hang out together. They spent hours to decide what dress they would wear and what color of eye shadow they would apply on their eyelids.

STELLA

Ella, who had never felt satisfied with her weight, couldn’t resist getting on weight scale to see if the numbers had gone down before deciding which dress to wear. The scale always said the truth about her that she was a fat girl, indeed. She was hypnotized and started being scared of that horrible scale whenever she looked at it. Not wanting to look chubby, she needed to choose the dress carefully. No bright color or stripes. That’s the only rule. In the battle of losing weight, she tried everything from going to gym and being on a strict diet till consuming slimming pills. Still, those ways didn’t work at all. Looking at her face in the mirror, she recalled a joke that really made her hate her body.

“Since the first time I met you, I have realized that drawing a sketch is a piece of cake,” said one of the boys in her class. Thinking that he was seducing her, Ella was blushing, “Ah, really?”

“Yeah, I only need to draw one big circle to draw a sketch of you,” he grinned while running away.

BIANCA

Bianca was her name. She should have been thankful for all the things she had. Slim and tall body like a super model had been her plus point. But, wait! There was still one thing that made her lose her confidence. She had always wanted to have fair skin like those models on TV. For anyone else, it might not be a big deal for having dark skin. However, she thought that beautiful girls were those who had white-skinned. Sometimes she mocked herself or even God’s grace for creating a creature like her. “Why is God so unfair to me?” she said. In His greatness, why couldn’t He give her fair skin? Among all of her friends, she was the only one who got dark-skinned. Being ashamed of herself, she took some efforts by buying many kinds of whitening body lotion or even consuming some whitening products. However, all of them did not work. She really wanted to change herself, especially her body.

JASMINE

“Why were some people born as a good looking person whereas others were not?” Jasmine thought while looking at her face in the mirror. Her tears almost fell from her beautiful eyes for she thought that she was not gorgeous. Although she had fair skin and slim body, she still kept thinking that she was a bad looking girl due to the fact that she had a big nose. Yeah, it’s only a nose. Her big nose, which looked like a tomato, always triggered her classmate to make fun of her. She never smiled since her nose became bigger and bigger whenever she smiled. She had ever thought about doing plastic surgery, so that she could change her nose like what she always dreamed of.

As Jasmine was the first one who arrived at the café, she had to wait for her two friends. She was watching all people coming to that café while waiting for them. A quarter of an hour later, both of them arrived at the café. The three of them sat in the corner of the room. They starred at each other while their minds were wandering. Ella secretly admired Bianca for having a slim and tall body. Maybe it’s more like envy rather than admiration. On the other hand, Jasmine really wanted to have a nose like her two friends’. Even though their noses were not pointy, at least their noses were not as big as hers. Bianca, on the contrary, had strong desire to have fair skin like Jasmine’s. Minute by minute, they talked about anything.

Suddenly, all three pairs of eyes gazed at the same thing when a visitor came. A very thin girl with half-bald head and a blind eye entered the room with a smile across her face. They starred at her with gaping mouth. This girl was not thin like what Stella had always dreamed of. She was born with such a rare medical condition that she didn’t have adipose tissue, which meant that she had no fat on her body. It made her face look old and her skin wrizled. She used to complain about her physical look. Now, she realized that there were many things she could do rather than complaining about it. In fact, she was still able to smile as if she had no problems in life. Her smile washed away her imperfect appearance. She let people stare at her a bit longer. The longer they looked at her, the more they realized how important living in gratitude was. Gratitude, which never lingered on their heart, appeared suddenly. As time passed by, they learned something. And nothing was better than a heart that never stopped being grateful.

Word count: 916

References:

“Gadis” by Asma Nadia

The Autobiography of Lizzy Velasquez

Inspired by:

An Essay by Evira Tiurma Hutagalung

Dialogue:

Putri Fatmala

Background Music:

You’re Beautiful – James Blunt (Piano Cover)

Telephone ring

Thank Notes:

Thank’s a million to Putri Fatmala, Dika Kameswara, Ronald Taufik Hidayat, Ineza, Irfan Reza Hardiansyah, and Diki Suherlan for correcting my grammar, choosing diction, and giving ideas of this story.

Dramatization:

soundcloud.com/adetyasarah/tugas-akhir-creative-writing-1

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18 thoughts on “What We Talk about when We Talk about Beauty : A Short Prose

  1. 180410120043 / B

    This story appeals to me as a reminder that I have to be a grateful person because in fact, I am the opposite of that. There are many lessons I personally can take from the story, but there is something odd that I kinda do not like. We do not learn from one event only. There must be things that unite into one perception which in turn, can change a mindset of someone. Maybe there is a trigger one, but there is also the other things that support it. Indeed, it is a nice story, but I am sorry, in some parts, I think you are lack of details and less realistic remembering it is adapted from somebody’s experience. You need to show more events to support and strengthen the notion of gratitude you bring into the story. However, making someone as a figure of gratitude is a good idea. (Word count: 150)

    Like

    • So do I. I used to complain anything about my physical appearance. It’s true that I’m lack of details. When I wrote this story, I wanted to write anything. Remembering that we should write at least 1000 words, I tried to limit words to write. If I have time, I’m going to fix this story and give some details. Thanks for your suggestion, anyway. :)

      Like

  2. 180410120015/C

    I love your story, but I think the dramatization is less expression. When the narrator say everything (the story), the narrator should distinguish the different expression in each sentence because it will make the audience more understand what the genre or the meaning of sentence. For example in the words “Yeah, I only need to draw one big circle to draw a sketch of you,” it means a funny one but the way narrator says it little flat. Maybe the narrator has to be more expressive to build the atmosphere. The movement from one paragraph to the others should be more connected. And one more, maybe it will be more interesting if you use a little backsound there.

    (119 words)

    Like

    • I’m really sorry for the dramatization. Huhu. Since it’s a short prose, I thought that readers still can enjoy it by reading. For the movement, I tried to use a kind of narrativisation like in a novel whose title is A Song of Ice and Fire (as Dika told me). You can refer to that novel to see that kind of narrativisation. Maybe it’s not as smooth as it should be.

      Like

  3. 180410120083/B

    There is an ambiguous point in the ending. I got a little mislead the last paragraph in understanding which character is speaking starts from the sentence “She used to complain about her physical look.” I thought it is Stella or Bianca or Jasmine who is speaking, but it is the disability girl.
    The author is being the third-person point of view from the beginning. He/she tells story in Stella’s, Bianca’s, and Jasmine’s point of view. When this disability girl comes in, I think the author should explain her as a stranger or something who is looked by Stella, Bianca, and Jasmine. But in this story, the author describe the disability girl as if she is one of them. The author directly change his/her point-of-view as the disability girl. Maybe the author can replace the sentence I mentioned above with “Stella, Bianca, and Jasmine give the disability girl their ‘investigate’ gaze. They see that she was born with such a rare medical condition.” Then the author can go on from the sentence “It made her face look old..”

    Like

    • For your information, I use third person omniscient point of view to narrate this story, which means the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters. And, I didn’t try to change the point of view. Anyway, thanks for your comment. I’m going to fix it when I’m free. :)

      Like

  4. 180410120124 / F

    Your story is really good because it contains so many moral messages. Yet, the dramatization is lack of music background; hence, it becomes a boring audio. I mean, the audiences will have no curiosity to hear more about your next part of the story. Though, you have successful in putting a music background in the end, because the music fits with the story. Also, the intonation between narrator and the character’s dialogue or monologue in the direct quotation that you write is not different. I have difficulties when I listened to your dramatization without reading your short prose to differ the voice of narrator and the voice of the characters. In addition, the way you deliver the message through the story narrative by using neat plot which is the mind of the characters is good and clear.

    word count: 137

    Like

    • I’m really sorry for the dramatization. Huhu. Since it’s a short prose, I assumed that readers still can enjoy it visually. How do you classify the narrator and characters? For your information, I use third person omniscient point of view, which means all parts of the story is told by the narrator expect the dialogue between Stella and Bianca (in the first paragraph). Thanks for your suggestion. :)

      Like

  5. Ineza Rachma Putri
    180410120113
    Class F

    How grateful I am! This is the expression of gratitude when I read the parts “..she didn’t have adipose tissue, which meant that she had no fat on her body. It made her face look old and her skin wrizled.” I am so sad by knowing that there are so many people who have a lack of physical appearance out there. I salute you bringing out one common problem that emerged in our environment and then you packaged it in the story well by presenting three young girls who were never grateful of their bodies until they finally met a girl with her lack of physical appearance. So, the moral value of the story is “be grateful for what we already have by always looking at people who are more defective than us!”

    Word Count: (133)

    Like

  6. 180410120071 / D

    I actually like your work. This kind of writing style reminds me of A Game of Thrones, the first novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of high fantasy novels written by American author George R. R. Martin, it is so amazing. Each chapter concentrates on the third person limited point of view of a single character. The story presents the perspective of three main characters, Stella, Bianca and Jasmine. Then, this story also contains a moral lesson. The story reminds me about some people living around us who always try to get a perfect physical appearance. So, I think this story is described reality of life and maybe happened in our life.

    Like

    • Wow! You have already read that novel? After Dika told me about that novel, I just realized that the writing style I used in this short story is similar to that novel. However, I didn’t use “third person limited point of view” but “third person omniscient point of view”.

      Like

  7. 180410120142/G

    It reminds me of myself. Haha. When talked about weight. I think all the girls are always criticized about their weight. Never satisfied with their self. I like when Stella part. She always complains about her weight. I want to know how many pounds of her weight? It was not explained that her physically looks like. When I read on “The scale always said the truth about her that she was a fat girl, indeed.” It was the top of she was complaining about her weight. The fact that she apparently fat is not described, just explain that she is a fat girl. Because all the girls always complain about their weight, maybe Stella was not fat as we imagine, she just felt scared when faced a “scale” because it reminded her about her earlier times.

    Word Count: 136

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment. :) You’re right. Stella was not really fat as we imagine. Actually, I forgot to give more explanation about it since I want the readers to have different point of views about it.

      Like

  8. 180410100170/Kelas B

    Characters’ behavior and setting reflect current middle-class teenagers’ life very well. Unfortunately, characterization is mostly built by narrator’s description. It will be better if characterization is mostly built by what characters say. ”Dialogue expresses character in speech, in idiom and their manner of speaking. What people say is as revealing as their actions, especially when they do not do what they say they are going to do.” (Morley, 2007) Furthermore, narrator’s eye can give some distance between characters and readers. I rarely hear the characters’ voice.
    At ending part (two last paragraphs), there is no character’s voice. I feel like I’m listening to one person’s sermon because the moral message is literary shown. If the characters speak more at the ending, the moral message will be delivered smoothly.

    Works Cited:
    Morley, D. (2007). The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Word count: 143

    Like

    • 180410100170/Kelas B

      Characters’ behavior and setting reflect current middle-class teenagers’ life very well. Unfortunately, characterization is mostly built by narrator’s description. It will be better if characterization is mostly built by what characters say. ”Dialogue expresses character in speech, in idiom and their manner of speaking. What people say is as revealing as their actions, especially when they do not do what they say they are going to do.” (Morley, 2007) Furthermore, narrator’s eye can give some distance between characters and readers. I rarely hear the characters’ voice.

      At ending part (two last paragraphs), there is no character’s voice. I feel like I’m listening to one person’s sermon because the moral message is literary shown. If the characters speak more at the ending, the moral message will be delivered smoothly.

      Works Cited:
      Morley, D. (2007). The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

      Word count: 143

      Like

  9. 180410090017 / B

    I like your story, it is a nice and funny story, story about three women who are less satisfied with the state of the body they have, complaining about her fat body, big nose, and dark skin, this problem belongs to everyone, not just women and men are have the same problem too, but if u added more of problem and more detail inside the story, i think it would be great, so a bit boring, and the plot was good, and the narrator have a less expresion. And james blunt song as a background music, it was touchy and very sweet.

    word count : 102

    Like

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