Beauty in Jane
The movie “American beauty” through its very title conveys the idea that it focuses on beauty as an important concept in human relationships. One of the special instances, when the idea of beauty is given a fresh interpretation, is the relationship between Ricky, the next-door neighbor of the Burnham family, and Jane Burnham. The beauty Ricky sees in Jane is deep inner beauty, the beauty of the soul that exceeds the conformance of the body to popular standards.
Like any other American teenage girl, Jane seems to be worried a lot about standards and conformance to those. In fact, she even considers plastic surgery to increase her breasts since she is worried about her body image. She is not even coming close to the model looks of her friend, Angela Hayes, and this makes Jane a shy and insecure girl in the company of teenagers. It is the age when people care about external beauty and want to look their idols, popular models and actresses they see in glossy magazines.
It is Ricky who comes into Jane’s life to teach her his special understanding of beauty. The guy who thinks the floating of the plastic bag finds enough wisdom to see that Jane is special in the sense that she does not conform to standards, and this makes her especially beautiful in his eyes. Ricky has the courage to tell the wildly popular Angela in response to her phrase “Well, at least I’m not ugly! ” things like “Yes, you are.
And you’re boring, and you’re totally ordinary, and you know it” (American Beauty). The movie teaches the audience about the kind of beauty that really makes people stand out. It is the beauty that lies in the heart. It is special and may be not seen by all people at a time, and it is exactly the kind of beauty Ricky discerned in Jane. Bibliography American Beauty. Dir. Sam Mendes. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Jude Law. 1999.