Topics: The Twilight Zone, Physical Appearance, Beauty Pages: 5 (1359 words) Published: September 30, 2014
Sophia Martinez
Professor Ahn
English 114b
Conforming Identity
Identity is one concept that is easily influential, though it can be destroyed by society. There are aspects that strengthen who we are as an individual, or weaken by conforming to society’s pressured expectations of how and who to be in life.In the novel, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and in The Twilight zone episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”, identity is weakened when it comes to society’s values. In the articles “It’s a Personal Choice” by Dorris Day and “Mannequins Give Shape to a Venezuelan Fantasy” by William Neuman, both mention how woman change their appearance in order to fit into society. Individuals feel the need to be accepted by society, even if it means changing who they truly are. Today’s society has mirrored images of a conformed identity rather than having individual identities. While unrealistic expectations of who and how to be are pushed, people feel the need to conform. Thus making everyone similar rather than being different, being an individual. Most individuals feel the need to fit in or to follow society. With the constant judgment of who and what to be in life is difficult while trying to stay true to ones self. Although there are individuals who prioritize their self- identity, there are many others who prioritize fitting into society. When compared, fitting into society is much easier than separating your self from others and staying true to ones own identity. Those who go against society and stay true to who they are tend to become isolated in a world where everyone is a mirrored image of society’s identity. In Uglies, people are not valuable because of their own ideas, but following what society wants. In the episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You” from The Twilight Zone, the character Marylyn lives in a society where everyone is forced to alter the appearance at the age of 19. Marylyn refuses to change herself in order to be like everybody else. When she complains, she is told, “what you need is a glass of instant smile”. Everything is altered, especially something as simple as a smile. In this episode once the characters proceed with the surgery their personalities are stripped away and they become robotic like human beings. No emotions, no personality just beauty and appearance. Marylyn is a smart, brave and creative young woman though she is considered an outcast because she wants to be her natural self. Though once she is pressured to conform she ends up loving it. This storyline is very relevant to today’s society where celebrities, media, and style are pressured on individuals. Individuals want to conform what society says is good enough. They see their true self as less when being compared to the unrealistic expectations that society puts out. The constant pressure of fitting into society is destroying individual’s self-identity Society has a huge influence on our identity that makes individuals lose a part of themselves. Everything that media puts out there suggest that we have to be a specific way in order fit in with. In the book Uglies, the character Shay experiences these problems. Especially with the wall screen that Tally, her friend, was messing with to make her “morph”. Tally was fixed on the idea that even though your appearance will change you will still be the same person. Though shay thought different, in her perspective the “morphs” were “some committee’s idea of her.” (Westerfeld 44). Even though having the surgery is what everyone wanted. It was something that Shay knew was wrong. This is because she knew she would lose herself within the society of artificial beauty. Shay was frustrated with the photo-shopping way of the wall screen, “Making ourselves feel ugly is not fun.” (Westerfeld43). This is a problem in Prettyville and in today’s society. Individuals have to deal with who they really are versus what society makes them to be. Unlike the Prettyvile in the book...

Cited: Day, Doris. "It 's a Personal Choice." The New York Times. The New York . Time.Company, 27 Dec.  
Neuman, William. "Mannequins Give Shape to a Venezuelan Fantasy." The New York . Times. The New York Times Company, 6 Nov. 2013. Web.
“Number Twelve Looks Just Like You.” The Twilight Zone. Writ. Charles Beaurmont. . Dir. Abner Biberman. CBS. Culver City. 24 January 1964. Television.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005. Print.
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