"The Ugly Duckling" and Standards of Beauty Today

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“The Ugly Duckling” and Standards of Beauty Today
Jennifer Murrish
Kaplan University HU300-01RP682

“The Ugly Duckling” and Standards of Beauty Today
Of all the stories I have heard throughout the years there is one that I can think of which really stands out in my mind. The story I chose is, “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Anderson, first published in Denmark, November 11, 1843. This story has an amazing moral and always tends to make me emotional every time I hear it, and has touched my heart since the first time I heard it when I was a child. Even though this story was published close to 170 years ago the concept is one that is still an issue within our society today. Gender roles can be described as, “the way acceptable male and female behavior and functions are defined in a given culture,” (Janaro, Altshuler, 2012); so many young people, both male and female, struggle with the image they are “supposed” to uphold much due to society’s stereotypical acceptations of what beauty is supposed to be, they can lose sight of what is truly more important than superficial appearance. Anderson’s story starts off describing the setting which is an old farm next to a lake amongst the forest trees. Within the old farm’s overgrown reeds a mother duck is sitting on her eggs getting ready for them to hatch. Finally the day comes and all the babies emerge from their shells and are ready to live, all the eggs except the largest egg of the bunch which had no signs of movement yet. Contemplating what to do with the egg, and after talking to another duck about what she should do, the mother duck decided to sit on the egg for a little while longer. After a few days or so the large egg finally hatched and the ugliest duckling crept out of the shell. This baby duckling was very ugly and did not look like the others, the mother duck accepted and cared for the baby duck…...

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