In them and spending much of her

In Jane Martin’s
play, Beauty, a common conflict found
is that of desiring what others have and vice versa, not realizing each person
has their unique accomplishments and achievements.  The characters in this play are dealing with
beauty and jealousy issues, although they do not necessarily have a problem
with each other they have an inner conflict of wanting what the other has
revealing the gender role of the stereotypical jealous woman and one of whom focuses
on external beauty.  Therefore, a
feminist theme is noticeable in each of the main characters throughout the
play.

Carla is portrayed
as a beautiful young women but that does not have the brains or wit to go with
it.  She gets a lot of attention from
many men and her life revolves going on dates with them and spending much of
her time talking on the phone. Her lack of intelligence is noticeable when she
tells Bethany that when an application says “sign here” she has written
Sagittarius (965).  Then there is Bethany
who is not as beautiful as Carla, but she is a cheerful and a very intelligent
girl. Because of her intelligence she has accomplish to be successful in her
studies, in publishing and in her accounting career.  Carla’s and Bethany’s beauty is part of the
focus of the play where Carla is characterized as the perfect and beautiful
success story, and Bethany is the ugly screw-up.  But the irony of the play is that neither
Carla nor Bethany appreciates what they have and both wish to have what the other
has.

The two characters
of the play are not happy with their status to a point that it brings out
emotions of jealousy.  As Bethany
explains to Carla her encounter with the genie and that she has one wish left,
she informs her that she wants to ask the genie to make her be more like
her.  That is when the reader finds out
about both characters displeasure with each other’s life and how they both wish
to be in each other’s shoes.  For
example, when Carla tells Bethany, “you have charm.  You have personality.  You know perfectly well you’re pretty” (964)
Bethany’s response to her statement is, “Pretty, see that’s it.  Pretty is the minor leagues of beautiful”
(964).  Bethany’s answer is that of one
who is lead to believe in this society that beauty equals success and
happiness, which is why many times girls are willing to go to any length to
alter their appearance.  It is more representative
of women to give extra attention to ones look and to give harder criticism on
other women’s appearance than it is of men.

It is unfortunate
that people sometimes have the tendency to be unappreciative with what they
have to where it may lead one to become envious, and this could bring
devastating effects on the individual.  The
fact that Carla is trying to explain to Bethany how unhappy she is telling her,
“Well, it’s not what I want” (965) in reference to Bethany’s comment that
everyone wants beauty, Bethany’s interpretation is that Carla just does not
want her to be in her “league” (365).  Bethany’s
obsession is a clear depiction of what some women tend to believe that the lives
of others are better than their own. Instead of seeing the good in their own
lives, some women in this society apt to compare their achievements with that
of others and all they can see is drawbacks and disadvantages. 

At the end of the
play when Bethany’s last wish is fulfilled their bodies switch where each girl
becomes the other.  They both say, “We
both have the one thing, the one and only thing everybody wants, what is that,
different problems” (966) it is there where both girls learn their lesson about
jealousy.  That everyone has problems and
that one can look up to other’s but that does not mean that they have a perfect
life or like the saying goes, the grass is not always greener on the other
side.  Carla and Bethany are a clear
representation of women and gender and the role they play in society.  It is Martin’s advice to society that one
should stop looking for happiness in other places when it only weakens ones
achievements and accomplishments.