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Is this a cliche topic for an essay?

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Is writing about overcoming traditional beauty standards a cliche topic for an essay?

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Not necessarily. The general rule of thumb is that if a ton of other people can write about the same topic, it's probably going to be cliche. If you're really passionate about this topic, go much deeper, and discuss not only how you overcame it, but how you will positively apply that new knowledge in college and later in life. Put the admissions officer in your shoes and hone in on your unique point you're looking to make. Hope this helped and good luck!

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What I like to think about when choosing an essay topic (which I think other answerers have hinted at with “uniqueness”) is Experience, Question, Answer, Action. So for example, while a commentary on beauty standards that basically comes down to “beauty standards that are unachievable negatively impact self esteem” is unoriginal. But by following the outline I just showed, it gets more personal and demonstrates not only your ideas around the topic, but how you think about them and initiate action. For example:

Experience: a story about a time beauty standards made you feel self conscious or inferior. This is the “show don’t tell” part

Question: What led you to question these standards? After all, they’re societal “norms”, for a reason, so what made you think about them differently?

Answer: the conclusion you came to. This should be a concise and powerful statement on your topic.

Action: what have you done, in your own life or in other peoples’ lives, to change the negative effects of beauty standards? This can be big or small, just show that when you found out something wasn’t right, you took actual steps to shift it.

Hope this helps! I don’t know if it’s an actual thing, but it’s helped me a lot when I’m drafting essays to make sure I talk about ME and not just my TOPIC.

Ok so let me be more specific- My family is from South Asia and lighter/fairer light is heavily emphasized(A.K.A. eurocentric beauty standards). Now I not very fair so you can probably guess what kind of impact it had. My essay is going to be how I changed my views and became comfortable with my skin tone. I am currently working on writing and self-publishing a book on eurocentrism. So do you think this is a good topic to write about?
Yes! Just be sure that you include the information about your action (writing and self publishing, and changing your views to love yourself) and it sounds like a very moving essay! Eurocentrism is also a slightly more unique take even before the action section, because it allows you to discuss your culture and heritage as well. People often use essays to talk about being the only POC in their school and feeling singled out, which is valid, but talking about bias WITHIN a minority community is
Thank you!
answered on
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That will depend if it's a huge part of you and how much change it brought into your life. If you feel like it really is unique, definitely go for it. For example, I seen others writing about how she used to hate her body but now she took it to the next level of loving her body so she decided to take more care of it and started a youtube channel to inspire other young women. This would be more personal and unique.

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I feel like it depends on how big of an impact it’s had on your life and if it’s something that’s made you question and change who you are. However if it’s something common like many people faced in their daily lives then I wouldn’t recommend writing on it as it would be very common.