The essay,” Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self” by Alice Walker is about self-realization, and that world is about the choices we make, as well as what we make it to be. The essay takes us from the external world where looks are everything, to the internal world, where looks are only a part of her real self. At the age of two and a half, Alice Walker shows that she is very confident in her beauty, when she wants to go to the fair with her father, and she says to him, “Take me daddy. I’m the prettiest”.
She also shows that she is not only completely aware of her looks, but that she is very confident of her abilities, Easter Sunday,1950. On that particular morning, she felt that “everyone was admiring her beautiful dress”, Alice also states “that it is not her dress they admire ,but it is her spirit they adored”. At the age of eight years old, she is shot in the eye, by her brother, with a B. B. , gun while they were playing cowboys and Indian. The incident leaves a cute and very bright and outgoing girl, with a destroyed sense of self beauty.
She no longer sees that she’s bright, or that she has a charming personality, all she now sees is the disfigurement to her eye. Where she was doing well in school, she is now doing poorly. Her peers make her feel ashamed when they ask “what is wrong with your eye”. She then becomes “the girl who does not raise her head. She does not pray for sight, instead she prays for beauty. As a teen she goes to her brother Bills house in Boston. He and his wife understand that her disfigurement causes her to feel shame and loneliness, and they take her to the local hospital. There the white glob is removed by a surgeon.
The disfigurement is partly gone, but still all of her anger isn’t resolved. Though she now “raises her head once more” and all other things fall into place for her. At the age of 27, Alice Walker is now a wife, mother and author. Even as a successful adult, she struggles with the true meaning of beauty. Her fear subsided when her child was not as cruel in her honesty as children are apt to be. When her daughter said to her “Mommy There’s a world in your eye” Alice Walker’s feelings of beauty changed. Her daughters acceptance makes her feel “joyous” and “happier than she’s ever been in her live’.
This moment becomes her epiphany. Her moment of sudden realization and her feeling accepted finally. She is whole again, finally in touch with the dancer with in herself. She has moved from external to internal in realizing that beauty was not just a physical thing. She has moved from immaturity to maturity, and from being mere bits and pieces of herself, or a fragmented self to being a whole self. She became complete with the realization and acceptance of who she was. She now loves her eye as she realizes that it has taught her of shame, anger and inner vision.
Her happy ending is that with the realizations she has fallen in love with herself again. The bright faced dancer. Beautiful, whole and free. Stanza from “As” by Stevie Wonder (Verse 1) As around the sun the Earth knows she’s revolving And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May Just as hate knows loves the cure You can rest your mind assure That I’ll be loving you always As now can’t reveal the mystery of tomorrow But in passing will grow older everyday Just as all is born new Do I know what I say is true That I’ll be loving you always