www.whyville.net Mar 9, 2008 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Emmy's Logo Here: What's in the Mirror

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I splashed water over my face one last time, then turned the sink off. I looked up at the mirror above the basin.

Today I feel pretty. I like how my bang falls across my eye; I like how clear my skin is. I love how, unlike most mornings, my deep brown eyes are very much alive and bright, and the color of my lips; I never really stop to see the pretty color they are before I slab lip gloss on. Then again, most mornings I don't feel like this.

Fast forward exactly 24 hours later. I'm at the same sink, scrubbing my face because I can't scrub off what I feel inside.

Today I feel ugly.

My hair feels limp and greasy, and my eyes aren't awake and seem vacant, no matter how many times I concentrate on my reflection the mirror, they still seem dull and unfocused.

So many things can happen in just one day, they can completely change what you thought was good, was right, was . . . beautiful.

What is real beauty, anyways? Does it count if you have to put layers and layers of makeup, straighten your hair, wear the most fashionable clothes . . . are you really beautiful?

Or just a fake interpretation of beauty?

Looking back on pictures of me in elementary school, when I was free of make-up and let my hair run loose, I seemed so much . . . I wouldn't say beautiful, but I looked so much more natural and expressive. Is that real beauty? Just being who you are?

I don't have an answer to that question. I think about it a lot, but I can never come up with anything meaningful. I do know one thing: Beauty is never just on the outside. Everyone has a part of their personality that is beautiful and unique. It's what makes us different.

But I really don't think humans are the most beautiful things on this earth. Oh, yes, that girl on the cover of Vogue is truly a stunner, but I think the most beautiful things are the ones that are beautiful without trying.

Sunsets, birds . . . the slowly wilting rose in a vase in my room. Even as it starts tilting downwards, it looks beautiful to me.

Young children can really teach us all a thing or two about beauty. How so, you ask. They know nothing of beauty. They don't care about being beautiful. They care about having fun and laughing and smiling and just being alive . . . that is beautiful. We seem to lose so much of that when we get older.

Much too soon beauty becomes how your hair looks, or what kind of clothes you wear. Beauty becomes how flawless your body is, and face it, strangers on the street aren't going to be able to take the time to get to know you, so what we look like is what they judge.

How many times when you see a person in the supermarket do you stop and think, "I wonder what they are like?" Never.

We humans judge by appearances right away, and it's a flaw that we really can't avoid.

Even if we know that beauty isn't just on the outside, all of us want to look nice. It's another one of our little flaws. Think about how many products are out there to make us look better. Thousands and thousands. With so many different and easy ways to change how we look, how will we ever find what real beauty is? No one is ever satisfied with how they look, yet no matter how many times they try to change, they lose pieces of the natural beauty that we were born with.

It all just goes to show that real beauty can't be on the outside. It just can't. Yes, you can look beautiful, but it's not the beauty that inspires millions of love songs, deep poetry, some of the greatest inspirations. That beauty is on the inside. That's real beauty.

It's rare we find people who can be beautiful, not just on the outside, but on the inside, too, without even trying. We appreciate them so much, just like we appreciate those beautiful, natural things like the light sound of a bird on a Saturday morning or that rustic view of the mountains. Real beauty . . . you don't even have to try.

I will wake up and look in that mirror a thousand more times, and every time I'll feel something different. My attitude about my physical beauty changes every day, but the real beauty inside of me, inside of all of us . . . that will always be there



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