Body Image In The Poem Am I Pretty Enough

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Body image, these are two words that have become common in the media, whether they are used positively or negatively. Body image is defined as a person’s perceptions of the aesthetic attractiveness of their own bodies. It relates to a person’s views, feelings and thoughts about themself, and is usually imagined as incorporating body size estimation and evaluation of body attractiveness associated with shapes and size.

In many cases, poetry can be used as an effective medium to convey a certain message to the audience. Poetry is a form of artistic communication, it can use simple, straightforward language to convey clear ideas. The whole issue with body image is sometimes taken lightly and not enough attention is given. This matter is important to explore using poetry to inform and, relate with the audience, the struggles that connect with physical appearance. A point that can be made about this subject is how body image affects society and how society affects body image, being regarded as a two-way street. Body image affecting society is shown with celebrities flaunting their perfect hair and bronze skin which leads to society regarding these as beauty ideals. However, every society shapes its own beauty preferences and forms the standards and expectations many crave to fulfil, making society affect body image. Several have become exposed to a much more elevated idea of society via the digital world, the media. It has become a platform that reinforces cultural beliefs and projects strong views on how we should look, that we often validate and preserve. It has developed a reputation in society to be held to unachievable beauty standards as they promote a “thin culture”. Media projects photos of women that have been technologically or surgically edited and it promotes unrealistic body ideals. As a result, the consequences include low self-esteem, eating disorders, or depression.

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In the poem ‘Am I Pretty Enough?’ many figurative language techniques have been used to convey a clear message of the directed topic. The beginning starts off with a rhetorical question to engage the audience to think and relate to what is being asked. There is a repetition of the line “Am I Pretty Enough” and limited examples of rhyme and half-rhymes throughout some parts to create a sense of rhythm. For example: “It can’t be fake, so we hesitate”. There is the use of alliteration on the last two lines of the second stanza to create a flow and the use of allusion helps the listener understand better as it is a reference to a well-known figure, this is done by the poem referring to a drugstore and celebrity models. In the fifth stanza, anaphora is used to create emphasis and referring to the princess is symbolism, noting that she is a symbol of beauty and perfection. Simile and hyperbole are used in the sentence “It’s like we’re magnifying”, showing comparison and an exaggeration.

This composition is engaging as it includes many figurative languages, proven statistics through research and how it addresses a significant issue that many might turn a blind eye to. These techniques are effective as it provokes thought, creates vivid imagery and creates an emotional response. It will help people understand that body image is a huge concern in today’s society and it affects the minds of many individuals in more negative than positive ways.


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