by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies Appearance Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"I used to think that too. But when Peris and I would go into town, we'd see a lot of them, and we realized that pretties do look different. They look like themselves. It's just a lot more subtle, because they're not all freaks." (10.61)
Tally makes this comment a few times. (See 2.10: "pretties didn't really all look exactly the same.") But we pulled this quote because we love the line "They look like themselves." How can people look like themselves even after radical plastic surgery? Notice also that Tally thinks the uglies are all "freaks." Oh, such a nice life, growing up thinking you're ugly, waiting for some surgery to make you look like yourself.
She'd been an ugly for four years, but a few extra days had brought home to her exactly what the word really meant. Tally peered into her mirror all day, noting every flaw, every deformity. Her thin lips pursed with unhappiness. Her hair grew even frizzier because she kept running her hands through it in frustration. A trio of zits exploded across her forehead, as if marking the days since her sixteenth birthday. Her watery, too-small eyes glared back at her, full of anger. (15.3)
Since Uglies tells us a lot about Tally's feelings, we hear a lot about how she thinks she's ugly. (Although we're not sure we could draw a picture of her from this description, because we can't draw.) So there's no mystery that (1) she doesn't have big eyes and (2) she's not happy about those eyes. (Her nickname is Squint, after all.) Tally's unhappiness about being ugly is one of the major reasons why she agrees to betray Shay.
It was that same warmth she'd felt talking to Peris after his operation, or when teachers looked at her with approval. It was not a feeling she'd ever gotten from an ugly before. Without large, perfectly shaped eyes, their faces couldn't make you feel that way. But the moonlight and the setting, or maybe just the words he was saying, had somehow turned David into a pretty. Just for a moment. (29.54)
Here's a lesson: if you want people to think you're neat, tell them how great they are. But notice the sting at the end: she thinks David is a pretty, "Just for a moment." Also, notice that Tally is convinced that a "face" could never make you feel good, until it had large, perfectly shaped eyes. We're not so sure about that.