Isabel is a Korean mother living in the USA with her daughter Panny. Brainwashed with impossible beauty standards, she can’t help but impose them on her daughter. The following is the speech she delivers in honour of her Panny’s fourteenth birthday…
Fourteen, it’s a special occasion. You don’t just turn fourteen every day. Someone, bring me The Yellow Pages. (pause.) Today would be nice. (Panny opens a cabinet and takes out The Yellow Pages. She hands it to Isabel. Isabel takes it and begins flipping through it.) Of course, fourteen is not what it used to be. When I was that age, I was already considered a woman. Nowadays, one begs the question: What is it to be a woman? It isn’t enough to bleed, it isn’t merely hormonal. It is not enough to be d’un certain âge, no. A girl becomes a woman, I believe, when she understands sacrifice for the first time. […] The world asks things of us constantly. It is never content with what we are; it asks us to dream of what we wish to be and then to have the courage to become that dream.
A woman is one who understand what the world asks of her, and answers with an eternal YES, an affirming YES. I say to you, Panny, now is the time to look at what the world asks of you and say YES, YES, YES! (She spins the book towards Panny and points at an ad.) This is my gift to you. […]