Anastasia Salter deposited Ugly Bodies, Pretty Bodies Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and the Inhumanity of Culture in the group GS Children’s and Young Adult Literature on MLA Commons 1 year, 11 months ago
Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies imagines a society where the body is under total control and the universal beauty of the body after dramatic reconstructive surgery at sixteen guarantees that everyone will be “equal.” To the young adult readership, such a world holds understandable appeal: the idea of avoiding the pains of coming to age in one’s own body is a tempting one. The utopian construct of a society where all difference, and thus all conflict, is erased is a popular social fantasy. But Westerfeld offers his audience more than a vision of a status-less utopia: he offers insight into what might come of humanity losing its connection to its own bodies. His world of Pretties is truly one where beauty is only skin-deep, and all the beautiful creations of culture have been abandoned for a new world of instant gratification and meaningless social relationships.