The Skin I'm In

by Sharon Flake

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In what ways do we see that Maleeka is judgmental in The Skin I'm In?

We see that Maleeka is judgmental in her initial attitude towards Miss Saunders. As well as being tall and fat, Miss Saunders has a large white stain across her face, and Maleeka immediately feels negative towards her because of these physical attributes.

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It's somewhat ironic, to say the least, that Maleeka Madison, of all people, should be so judgmental about Miss Saunders' physical appearance, on account of her own serious self-esteem issues.

And yet despite that, Maleeka does not warm to Miss Saunders, or feel any kind of solidarity with her, even though her new teacher is also judged on account of how she looks. The moment she first lays eyes on her, Maleeka gets a bad feeling about Miss Saunders. For good measure, she says that Miss Saunders is a freak to her. And all this because of her personal appearance.

According to Maleeka, Miss Saunders is tall and fat, has a man's name—Michael—and has a large white stain spread across her face that looks as if someone threw acid on her. No wonder Maleeka finds it hard not to stare.

Observations are one thing, but that's not what we're dealing with here. Maleeka is judging Miss Saunders, looking at her as a freak, as an “amazon woman teacher,” drawing negative conclusions about what kind of person she is, simply by virtue of her personal appearance. You'd think that someone with Maleeka's self-esteem issues would know better.

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