Study Guide

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Appearances

By Judy Blume

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In Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Margaret spends a good deal of time worrying about her appearance, particularly her hair and bra size. Does this make her vain, or just a teenager in the making? Throughout the book, a lot of emphasis is placed on appearances. Everyone likes Philip Leroy cause he's the best looking, despite the fact that he's totally lazy and not really that nice, and all we know about Laura Danker until near the end of the book is the fact that she has a grown up body (which unfairly earns her a bad reputation).

In a book focused on almost-teenagers, it's not surprising that appearances make a lot of, um… appearances. After all, changing bodies leave everybody thinking about what they look like.

Questions About Appearances

  1. In what cases do the descriptions of characters' appearance in the book actually reflect their personality? In what cases do they not?
  2. Margaret likes Philip Leroy because of the way he looks. Same with Moose Freed. What's the difference?
  3. Appearances of people aren't the only kind that get attention. At one point the living rooms of Norman Fishbein, Nancy Wheeler, and Margaret are all compared. How do the appearances of their houses reflect the residents? What does it say that Margaret's still doesn't have furniture?
  4. Would Margaret have felt the same about the Hutchinses if they'd been hip and stylish like Grandma Sylvia?

Chew on This

Margaret's showdown with Laura Danker will have a lasting influence on how she judges others based on their appearances.

The only thing that Margaret, Nancy, Janie, and Gretchen actually have in common is their concern for appearances.

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