“Pretty” by Katie Makkai

07 Apr

In this video slam poet Makkai tells the story of her past personal experience with one meaning of “pretty,” and then imagines its place (or replacement) in her future. I was reminded of it by the reading for tomorrow’s class about cosmetic surgery.

The poet’s is definitely a different take from Kathy Davis’s in “Remaking the She-Devil”– one which is perhaps more in agreement with the “‘cultural dope’ approach” Davis problematizes.

What is the message Makkai’s words to her daughter, at the end of her performance, seek to encourage? Discourage?

1 Comment

Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


One response to ““Pretty” by Katie Makkai

  1. robertsc16

    April 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Wow. That was really powerful! It definitely reduces the power of beauty, however, especially at the end (“merely pretty”). I wonder what she would think of Davis’ arguments about beauty (specifically cosmetic surgery) as a means of taking your life into your own hands. Could “prettiness” be the means to the confidence to be the intelligent, creative and amazing person that she wants her daughter to be? Is that what she means by saying she will be “pretty intelligent”, “pretty creative” and “pretty amazing”? Is that merely wordplay or does she mean that she will be pretty in addition to these things, that some degree of prettiness is still expected or required, (just obviously not to the degree and exclusivity encouraged by her own mother)?


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