Saturday, September 12, 2015

Going skin deep

Beauty is a touchy subject. Everyone in the world wants to have their own definition of beauty—be it physical or spiritual. A single negative comment about one’s standard of beauty can gut anyone down instantly. We are all in quest for beauty, but we have different views on the matter. 

I confess that when I was a kid, I thought beauty meant clear skin, and not having a single hair out of place. Now, I understand that it’s more than that.

While I was in college, I overheard a guy saying, “She’s only pretty because she’s wearing make-up. If she takes that off, no one will notice her.” And his friends laughed in agreement, and began to add in some comments about her weight. My eyebrows have never gone up that high. I got curious and looked for the said lady, and let me tell you, she was gorgeous! I began to seriously question those guys’ eye sights. From what I’ve learned from my friends, she was actually one of the top students in her class. She had just turned down the guy I overheard. Ah. Mystery solved. The grapes were just super sour.

By some twist of fate, the girl became my friend. I learned that she was struggling with insecurities about her weight. She had heard several comments and remarks about her appearance. It was hard for her to accept compliments. It was really sad that she was known more about her body weight, than the weight of her character and intelligence.

I think we all know stories like this because at some point or another, we know someone like her. Maybe we are her. You may have heard this a thousand times, but you are beautiful and worth loving. Your weight, complexion, or hairstyle does not define you. Whether you wear make-up or not, don’t let other people’s standards of beauty dictate your identity.

Now, like most people, I also am well-aware of my imperfections. My hair doesn’t stay in place; I get breakouts every now and then, and the list goes on. But I am comfortable with myself. It took a long time for me to do so, but I do. For a long time, I have wanted to be that friend who had issues with her appearance. I wished I was pretty as she is. And then one day, I realized: I am not her, I am myself. My skin and figure look far from the photoshopped pictures in magazines, but I am well-loved by my family and friends. I actually enjoy what I am doing, and there are still so much that I can do.

The world needs more beautiful hearts than pretty faces, and I am certain yours is exactly what the world needs. So always love yourself. There is no other you!

Written by Levi
Art by: Mai Kuu is the illustrator of the Amazon's #4 Best Selling Children's Dog Book , "Grandpa Bill and His 1000 Dogs" by Iris Pickler .