Ielts writing task 2:

Topic: People spent a lot more money on their appearance because they want to look younger, why would this happen? Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Sample Essay

There is an increasing tendency nowadays that people are using their discretionary spending more on appearance. This trend is mainly driven with the hope that they could retain the outside youth and beauty they have once lost. There are several reasons for the rising phenomenon, which in my opinion could lead to detrimental effects to these individuals.

For one thing, there has long been a de facto belief that a smart appearance could be translated into job prospects or societal successes. People holding this firm belief perceive pulchritude and youth as signs of confidence and professionalism, which can later help them in their pursuit of wealth and happiness. This results in excessive spending on clothes and even plastic surgeries. Another primary reason to be mentioned is the roaring success of major worldwide brands. Using top models as brand ambassadors, their effective advertising campaigns have engraved the idea of beautiful appearance and its implication of success and happiness into consumers’ mind, consequently luring people into overpriced products.

From my own perspective, though in some cases investing in one’s appearance can bring out trivial advantage like building up confidence, this tendency can be seen as unhealthy development towards the society. First and foremost, people under the influence of this misconception about appearance are likely to neglect their inner values without recognizing beauty is only skin deep; one individual’s true value lies on his or her virtues rather than just outside youth or beauty. What’s more, people striving to follow this lifestyle rather than a frugal one easily put themselves in peril due to unplanned spending which is likely to lead to debt-ridden situation.

In sum, appearance is one in many aspects that define a human. Therefore, people should not be spending money obsessively in it but keeping in mind it is nurturing their goodness that matters the most.

Võ Minh Sử – Chủ sáng lập Homeschooling English Center