Autobiographical Sample Essay 2011 - Vista del Lago High School by huanghengdong


									                                                                                                            Pierce 1

Brittany Pierce
Ms. Pierce
World Literature
28 October 2011
                                              Just Like A Woman…?
       Imagine a life in which one is expected to be consistently worried about make-up, high heels, diets,
dresses, bras, pedicures, eyelashes, accessories, curling irons, perfume, leg razors, manicures, tight jeans,
tampons, purses, and hair product. Unfortunately, half of the world’s population, because of being born with
certain physiological parts, is born with the expectation that we value how we look. Due to the fact that our
culture values how women present themselves physically, we are required to focus on petty, superficial details
of our appearance on a daily basis. Let’s face it—being a woman is rough, period. Being born into a family of
well-put-together women, I have always sought to fulfill the expectation that my culture established for me as a
member of the female gender. However, there are always those inevitable moments when the values associated
with being a woman have overwhelmed me—especially when I haven’t lived up to society’s rules of what’s
acceptable, and what’s unacceptable, of a woman.
       Last spring, I was dating a gentleman from Los Angeles by the name of Darren. We had been on about
six dates over the course of a few months, enjoying pleasant conversation and laughter at some stylish, Los
Angeles restaurants. He was an easy-going, jovial gentleman who had a gleaming, white, heart-melting smile
that caused his eyes to wrinkle at the corners and sparkle with sincerity. One Saturday night, Darren and I had a
dinner date. Since my mother had taught me the importance (as a woman) of impressing physically, I went the
extra mile to impress Darren with my highest high heels, most stunning dresses, sweetest perfumes, smoothly
manicured nails and my most carefully applied make-up. That night, I chose a beige, sleeveless, form-fitting
dress with deep blue and burgundy flower patterns. I had my favorite denim high heels with a matching denim
purse, coordinated blue eye shadow, a long, blue-beaded necklace, dangly earrings and sweet, floral perfume
spritzed over my body. I felt flowery, feminine and fabulous as I showed up to Darren’s fancy Los Angeles flat.
Since I had just arrived back from Spain, Darren suggested we eat at El Matador—a small, stylish, softly-lit
restaurant specializing in Spanish cuisine. After arriving at the restaurant, we enjoyed typical Spanish delicacies
such as sangria and tapas as I shared my stories from my recent trip to Spain and France. Although I had not
ever tried some of the strange dishes that Darren recommended, I happily partook in them.
       Upon arriving back at Darren’s house, he recommended that I come in to relax and watch Seinfeld (both
of us being fans of the humor behind socially-awkward situations). Although my clothing choice was not very
practical for relaxed lounging, as is often the case for women, I agreed to come in. After carefully sitting down
and taking off my shoes— in the most lady-like manner possible for a constricting dress— Darren and I
                                                                                                             Pierce 2

snuggled up on the couch in each others’ arms. We laughed at the silly social expectations being mocked in the
sitcom as Darren commented upon how good I smelled and kissed my cheek gently. I remember smiling and
drifting off into a light cat-nap; life was good and I had done everything that I was supposed to do, as a woman,
to attract this handsome man.
       I don’t remember exactly how long I had drifted off to sleep, but I remember very well, too well,
hauntingly well, what happened next. I awoke to the loudest, most unpleasant, crackling, horrific, rumbling,
cacophonic noise that I could possibly imagine. In less than a half of a second, my eyes darted open. Out of a
deep sleep, I tried to come to my senses. What was that noise that disturbed my slumber? Within fractions of a
second, I realized, but I couldn’t believe… but it had to be… that noise had come from me! No, the horror—the
horror! I shot a quick glance to my left to see Darren’s face—was he awake? Was he aware of what had just
transpired?! His eyes were closed, so did that mean…? No, he must have woken up! That wretched noise woke
ME up—it had to have woken him up! I thought, “Please, whatever forces govern the universe, please, make it
so that he is asleep right now!” I lay there for several minutes in complete terror, frozen by the fear that he had
heard the most unfeminine, disgusting bodily function that ever cursed human beings’ lower regions—the
dreaded fart.
       Fifteen minutes later, having laid with eyes wide open and a rapidly-beating heart, I finally got up, put
on my shoes, said some incomprehensible “thank you… I’m tired… I better go…” (not capable of bringing
myself to say more, due to the extreme shame filling my being). I fled to my car, trembling, shaking my head,
hand to my mouth in disbelief of the nightmare that my accursed body had just wreaked upon me. “Damned
Spanish cuisine!” I shouted as I drove home, wide-awake, hitting my hand to my forehead every five minutes. I
wondered, “Should I say something? If he heard, would he have said something? What could possibly be said to
better this situation?” Nothing, I had to just wait.
       That was the last time I ever saw Darren. Although we talked via text-message a couple of times, he
never again tried to arrange a date, leading me to realize my worst fear: he had heard the fart. While my friends
and I now discuss this day with roaring laughter, I will never forget the amount of stress that I felt in that hour
after I had failed to live up to the value of female appearance. While women always stress themselves out trying
to meet society’s expectations, this day taught me an important lesson. It’s time to stop stressing out about our
failure to meet cultural expectations and accept the fact: we are not perfect. Our made-up faces get shiny, we
wake up with bad hair and bad breath, we aren’t as tall as our heels make us, our legs grow hair, our nails break,
our armpits smell, we have the bodies we have, despite fancy clothes and accessories and… we fart. While
these facts will no doubt continue to cause extreme stress in the lives of women, sometimes we have to stop
stressing out and laugh at our imperfections, realizing that we will not always live up to our culture’s values and
expectations for us.

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