Tessaya Forde Essay 2 Feedback


Thank for once again going first with your essay–it’s clearly been an inspiration to many students to read your work and glean ideas from it.  A couple thoughts;

–I agree with Jayvon that adding more of your own personal experience with the material of your essay—both the song and the issues concerning comparison and body-image difficulties that many femme-identified people face—could really fill things in in an engaging way.

–In terms of the big picture, I would suggest rethinking the organization of the essay—perhaps putting your questions more toward the beginning and then also using one of your opening paragraphs to introduce the big picture of the essay: tell your reader up front what are you going to be doing in this essay (hard to know this in your first draft, but now you’re on draft 2!), what are the issues you’re interested in focusing on here?, etc. (this can tie into the questions you’re posing)

–One key thing that I’m noticing you’re interested in (and which I think you could incorporate more as you re-write–especially in your Intro, but also in your body paragraphs) are the inter-racial dynamics of femme-identified people: wanting to look more black if you’re white, wanting to look more white if you’re black, etc.  What do you think this is about?  I encourage you to explore this more through the song and through Bell Hooks’ essay.  You might also look for an article of your own on this topic to bring into the essay.

–Lastly, I *like* all the quotes you’ve chosen and encourage you to go further with your analysis of the language in them.  See if you can set up 1 quotation per paragraph: introduce the quote, then really key in on everything you notice about the word choice–including questions you have about it.  Don’t worry about going off-topic here—that can be interesting to do and can lead you to even more interesting places in your essay.  Once you’re done writing about the quote, go back to the beginning of your paragraph, re-read it, and then write a sentence that informs your reader of the point(s) you’re making about the song in your analysis in that paragraph (and, if you can, how these points connect to the main points of your essay).

I know this is a lot, but we’ll be trying to work on a good deal of this together.  As always, let me know of any specific questions that arise as you revise.

Thanks again,


8 thoughts on “Tessaya Forde Essay 2 Feedback”

  1. Hi Tessaya,

    I hope all is well. Thank you for reading your essay 2 in workshop. I appreciate it because I was struggling with my writers block on how to start the essay and which direction it should flow in. After reading your essay I feel confident in my approach now. I like your social issue you talked about because I believe many people can relate to a social issue about appearance especially with how society makes appearances and beauty a big thing especially in our generation.
    I know we talked about your questions towards the end and putting them in the beginning. I actually found it interesting and different where you placed it. It was a warm up in the beginning of the essay which then led you to have those questions.
    One advice I can give would be to not add so many lyrics and try to describe the song more ( definitely easier said then done) … but besides that , I think you’re off to a good first start 🙂

    I always enjoy your style of writing, so i’m looking forward to reading your final draft.

  2. Hey Tessaya,

    I really enjoyed your first draft of this second essay. Thank you for sharing it with us during our last workshop that we had. It really gave me insight as to how I should go about putting my essay together because I was stuck for so long as to how I wanted to continue the flow of my essay, starting from my introduction. So, your essay gave me motivation to make the proper adjustments needed so I could finish writing it. I particularly liked how you introduced your song with a personal reflection of your experience growing up as well as how certain lyrics within the song tied into your main focus on examining the effects of beauty standards on women. I also liked the questions you raised regarding your topic, particularly the one in which you asked, “How is it that a man can make a woman feel so insecure that she changes her whole appearance?” I feel as if that question could be used to dive in further as to how men were raised in their household, particularly their relationship and experiences of most importantly their mother, as well as father.

    One piece of advice that I would give regarding your revision is to include more personal connections, yourself, as to how the lyrics addressing beauty standards in the song affected you overcoming them. I believe that your journey, tied into the lyrics of “Unpretty,” would help paint a more vivid point-of-view from an insider’s perspective as to what really goes on in a woman’s life that has to go through these obstacles.

    Overall, I really enjoyed your essay and hope you are doing well despite everything that’s going on right now.

  3. I’m so sorry for the very late rely but thank you for the great feedback! It will be taken into consideration.

  4. Hello Tessaya,
    Thanks for sharing with us. I liked your take on this assignment because it was easy on my eyes and I could digest the ideas that you were trying to say. so here’s my take.
    A song usually conveys social ideas that get ignored because of the tempo or whatever other aspect of the song. But as we dig deep into the lyrics; we find out a different meaning to the song than we originally had. And I thought you executed this task very well. After all, that’s the point of this assignment. Anyways, I thought that you chose a good song that connects to the topic of “beauty in women”. Overall, I thought your essay was very well organized (good structure), especially the questions you added towards the end… I hope to read the full essay once you fully develop your ideas.

  5. Hi Tessaya,

    Great work! I’m really happy with your song choice, as well as your inclusion of lyrics within your paragraphs. I can relate to spotting double or hidden meanings in songs now that we’re older, so I truly enjoyed your analysis of Unpretty from TLC. You were able to break down certain lines from the song and explain your interpretation, which is a great way to express the core concept of women’s relationship with love and beauty standards. You touched upon a serious topic of conformism within black culture, specifically with black women changing their looks to appeal to men/society beauty standards. There are more details you can add about why you think women compare their looks with each other, drawing connections to the external article about Madonna’s cultural appropriation and the common ideas you took from the song, as well as your own ideas of answering your own questions around beauty. Otherwise, a great start!

    Take care and good luck with your final draft!

  6. Hello Tessaya,

    Great essay! This is a very solid first draft. I love the thorough dissection of the song, and how you supported your interpretation with real world examples (E.g. the unspoken idolization between Caucasians and African American women -> the Kardashian family.) I also find it interesting how the message of the song became clear to you as you matured while listening to it. It was almost as if the message you got each time was fit for your current mindset. To strengthen your argument further, you can get more personal. What experiences have you had with your image? Have you ever witnessed someone else struggle with how they look? By drawing these connections, you show that your argument is consistent with real life. Although the references to celebrities does that to an extent, your personal testimony will do a better job of grounding it in reality.

    Be safe!

  7. Hi Tessaya,

    This first draft is great! I definitely am intrigued by the topic because it’s something that talk about on a everyday basis. I like how you used an example of society’s standards by talking about how the kardashians completely changed their whole body to have a “better” appearance. I even liked how you included questions about the thoughts that popped up in your head as you wrote this research paper. Although the essay is already great, I think you should try and connect it to a personal experience if you have one because it can make the topic even more deeper. I hope all I well during this pandemic !

  8. Hey Tessaya

    Thank you for sharing your educational experiences with us. I hope everything is going well for you, your writing helped all of us to completely understand and cleared our mind on how to do essay number two. I liked how you introduced your song with a reflection of your personal experiences of yourself growing up and certain lyrics within the song. I really like the question you asked “How is it that a man can make a woman feel so insecure that she changes her whole appearance?” in your essay you could write further and give more details on why exactly you asked this question? what is the reason behind asking this question? How does this question relate to the central idea? overall it was an amazing essay to read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.