People throughout the earth come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and features. These things that define our appearance are surely what makes us human and our own person in the world of billions. From years ago up to now humanity has shaped and classified what a beautiful body figure for a man and woman should look like. However the way every person was born had purpose and is what makes us who we are and meant to be. Because society has pushed these images forward to the world more and more people worry about being accepted for what they have or don’t have and what they look like or don’t look like. This is something that most young people struggle with today, they lack self-love and confidence. It is aware that the youth of today’s society often will be quick to judge someone by their appearance, and at most times they will notice something they don’t like first before they notice anything positive. Anyone psychically here on earth has a beginning to their existence, a one in a billion chance. This is what makes every person so special. People are people but there are different kinds of people from different places but surly still people just like you. Each day we live our roads are crossed across the map, people meeting other people. The diversity of humans from around the globe is astonishing and each person has beauty simply by being who they are. What a shame it is for any person who cannot see the grace of life and people. Their faces and laughs make things warmer in a big cold world.
Eleanor and Park exposes to it readers the life of a bullied young girl named Eleanor who is underestimated by her family and peers. She is instantly unwelcomed and teased on her first day at her new school. She wasn’t like the other girls her age and she received different treatment because of her appearance and physical characteristics. In this story Eleanor is diminished because of her red hair, her weight, and even her own existence. Weather she was at school or at home Eleanor always had to worry about someone or everyone. At school Eleanor was called names like raghead, blood Mary, and big red. All these names refer to some attribute of Eleanor’s appearance. Her main instigators at school were Tina and Steve, two acquaintances of Park’s. This can all relate back to how kids are in school today. It is by far completely disrespectful to tease someone because of their appearance or body type. What is it that separates us into these imaginary categories people put us in where people are attacked simply because someone else wanted too? They have no right, no reason. To tease someone because they are “fat” will not put you in any better place in the world. Making fun of someone because of the way that they look will not make you a better person, in fact, I believe it exposes the inner and mental problems that person has. Shaming someone for their appearance or body shows that you are angry and weak. Despite getting bullied at school Eleanor is shammed at home by her stepfather Richie, another instigator she has to worry about. Richie is a perverted misogynist; he is abusive towards the family in many ways but mainly towards Eleanor and her mother. In the story Richie shames Eleanor as a women by saying all she is good for is for men to look at her and to have sex with her ignoring the fact that she is underage. “Nothing but a bitch in heat” (Rowell 107). This is another form of body shaming that can even tie into sexism. In the story Richie secretly takes Eleanor’s notebooks and writes perverted things on them that Richie actually fantasizes and thinks about but making it seem as if he was some guy anonymously harassing her at school. The female body image has been shaped by today’s society, social media, and celebrities. Women particularly are put under more pressure to have that one look image that has been highly exaggerated to the whole world by men and other females. Girls are expected to keep up with these high end standards like wearing makeup, watching their weight, and exercising or she will not be seen as beautiful and might even be treated differently by others. Just because someone does not meet the standards of someone else doesn’t mean they are not happy and deserve to be respected or appreciated. Women are meant to have more body fat near areas like the hips, stomach, and legs to support future pregnancies. By nature woman are designed to be thicker and curvier, that is what a healthy body image for woman should look like. We should all learn to love our bodies the way they are because there is a reason for everything. Instead of being so negative we should look at yourselves from a different point of view apart from how the mainstream society and media thinks people should look and appreciate the things we have already. When looking in a mirror I hope that you see yourself and love the features you were blessed with because they are what make you who you are in the world. Everyone is so precious. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.
Park also experiences discrimination for his appearance in the book. Park is not like other boys in his grade. Traditionally young men are expected to be big and strong and dominate or else he is not a man. Park is a lot calmer than his friends and also carries himself in such a unique way that he stands out from the rest, this is why Eleanor and Park and so perfect for each other. In school Park tends to be by himself a lot of the time when he’s not with Eleanor. Along the story Park wears Eyeliner as Eleanor receives a makeover by Parks mother. This is a very special moment in the book because it shows a message that love is stronger than lust. Park wearing eyeliner also breaks gender roles as a man and gives a bold statement that he is not afraid of what people will think of him. I believe Park does this to relate to Eleanor and how she is seen by others so that he could understand her even better. Park sees Eleanor differently than others and that’s because he likes her for who she really is. Throughout the book Park spends a lot of time trying to protect Eleanor from her bullies and gets upset when she gets called names like big red referring to her weight and hair. This shows that he cares a lot about Eleanor and sends a message to the readers that everyone deserves to be loved for who they are not for what they have or don’t have.
Overall, humans are amazing creatures. I love seeing different kinds of people in all verities with different skin and eyes and hair as mine. How unique and diverse we all are from each other amazes me because we are all still so similar. I hope everyone understands and can see the beauty life and people truly have. Make an effort to smile at a stranger today, you just might make their day. When you spread kindness and compassion, it comes right back to you.
Rowell, Rainbow. Eleanor & Park. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2016. Print.