What is Beauty Anyway?
In The Birthday of the Infanta, the princess is portrayed as a beautiful twelve year old girl who has an ugly, mean-spirited inside, and even though the dwarf has all of the qualities on the inside that would make him a likeable, kind-hearted person, he is treated like a freak and laughed at until his heart stops all because of his outer appearance. Wilde wants the reader to take in the message of the story and realize how cruel it is to "judge a book by its cover", because society has set standards of what beauty and ugly is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and beauty is only skin deep.
Society has a set standard of what beauty and ugly is. The desire to be beautiful is universal. "Perfection is a disease of a nation."(Knowles)
Today, media plays a big role in how society judges ones beauty or ugliness. Everyone wants to look like the models on the cover of a magazine or the famous celebrities on TV because that's what you see every day and that's what you are brainwashed to believe that "beauty" is. The reason for that is because they are rich, famous, and they have a sense of power over society because we look up to them as role models so we can become rich, famous, and powerful. We have it in our minds that maybe if we look like them, we might get the same respect and treatment as them. In the Birthday of the Infanta, the reader doesn't know if the princess is truly beautiful or if she's only beautiful because she is powerful and she is above everyone else so she sets the standard of what beauty is...