www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2010 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

The Question

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My Dear Whyvillians,

I come to you with a question that every person asks at least five hundred times in their life. It's what shapes our society, popularity, and even our confidence. It's a question I've thought to myself about quite a lot over the past few years. It's one that will stumps me and makes me want to throw my hands in the air and just give up.

What is beauty?

There is not a single flawless person on this planet, yet we still try to be as perfect as the person next to us wants us to be. To me, there is only one flawless living thing in this world, and it's my beautiful cat, who has loved me unconditionally from the day we adopted her. But that's my cat, and I'm curious to find a flawless person walking the earth. I know I'll never find one, which is what makes the concept of beauty so easily mistaken for perfection, because we can't have perfection, and we want it, and to obtain it we will to just about anything to change ourselves for it.

Let's face it, outward beauty is a mask that will slowly chip away with time so that who you are underneath is revealed. The amount of pounds you've put on the last several months isn't really going to matter what it comes down to just you and the grave, not the amount of people you've dated this year or the pairs of converse you have in your closet. Sometimes I feel like I've tried too hard to change myself to obtain this "perfection." I've traded in my crocs for sandals and my running shoes for converse. My flared jeans have been transformed into the bootcut and skinny ones they sell at Kohl's, and my Bermuda shorts have been shoved into the back of my closet so I can fit into the new blue jean ones I bought at Old Navy. Fashion used to mean nothing to me, and now it's everything. The way my hair or clothes looked never mattered until I began looking at picture from eighth grade and found myself unsatisfied with my appearance.

What is beauty?

I know nature is beautiful. I know that the cherry trees down by the Burger King are in full bloom and shedding their pink blossoms everywhere. I know snow is cold to touch and resplendent when glistening in the sun. I know that rain and blue skies are dazzling in so many ways, and that the many clouds in the sky don't ruin a perfect day if you're having fun. We know nature is a beautiful thing, but why is it that when beauty is applied to our society we can't figure out what it is? Maybe it's because we're more than a leaf with photosynthesis on its side. We have feelings. We talk, we speak, we laugh, we reflect upon others. Maybe it's because there are so many different kinds of beauty that we can't agree on just one, so we keep running the same circles again and again.

I think beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, like the old saying goes. I guess you really can't change what the person next to you thinks of your outfit, your hair, or your appearance in general. If I've learned anything in this past year, it's I can't change who I am to become perfect, because everyone knows that's impossible. If beauty and perfection walk hand in hand, then count me out. If anything, beauty lies in the mistakes we've made and what we've gotten out of them. Beauty lies in the prayers of the child across the street, the voice that comforts you in your worst hours, even the soul of the person who was begging in the street the other day. I believe one hundred percent that beauty and personalities go together better than peanut butter and jelly.

What is beauty?

Beauty is us. Beauty is putting others before yourself, looking others in the eye and screaming, "Hey! I don't care what you think because I like who I am!" So come, and listen. Maybe beauty isn't perfection, but rather the heart and soul of who we are. Maybe your beauty is defined not by how skinny you are or the amount of American Eagle jeans in your closet, but rather how you look upon yourself. Even if you see and ugly, worthless person in the mirror, I guarantee you that is not how others see you, or else how would you have made it this far?

My personal definition of beauty is the good in someone's heart and their selflessness. I believe the more people you've impacted, the more beautiful you will become.

We are all beautiful people, which is what all the cheesy speakers at school tell us. But I believe it. And don't let this age old question get to you too much, because it's really not worth stressing over. I think that if you focus on growing into a more confident and caring person, beauty is right down the road. Maybe not the Barbie doll road you're seeking, but it will be there.

Beauty can be found in anything. You just have to look for it.


Author's Note: I would like to apologize for not writing or being in the BBS lately. This article was also inspired by Regina Spektor's "Eet."


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