As a teenage girl treading through the jungle of high school life, I may not know much, but one thing I am very aware of is insecurity.
Insecurity is an unwanted leech clinging to any form of discomfort, fear, and difference. In modern day society, the advertisement industry has grown, evolved, and produced the “perfect image” of beauty. This perfect image, mistakenly misinterpreted as ideal, turns its cheek to physical diversity and overall bodily health. I stumbled upon these mannequins in a mall near my town. It got me thinking…such a ridiculous yet powerful symbol such as a department store mannequin, is something we pass everyday, it goes unnoticed and yet creates such major false expectations.
Advertisements like the one staring back at my camera lens seem to portray that the products trapped behind the windows look best on the body of plastic mockery. However the only thing looking somewhat normal on a 15 inch waist and pencil thin legs, would be dark circles, hallowed cheeks, and hair loss.
As someone who is surrounded by the unreasonable lust to achieve this “perfect image” of beauty everyday, it has become quite clear that it’s a diversion to what is really important. It blinds us. Things so small such as barbie dolls, magazine covers, and the signs outside the local makeup store, engrain in our minds the poisonous art of comparing. We are stuck in this endless trap of feeling like we have to compare ourselves to everyone around us, in denial of the fact that its so unnecessary. In denial of the fact that we already posses the most powerful form of beauty, inner beauty. But inner beauty is not proclaimed to the nation, because what kind of clothes and makeup does inner beauty sell?
When I say that inner beauty is the most valuable, I’m not trying to be the monotonous middle school guidance counselor or summarize the moral of the romantic comedy. I’m trying to express inner beauty in its true definition.
As the once curly haired, beautifully intelligent Emma Watson a.k.a. Hermione Granger, now strong leader and Brown University graduate once said “beauty is letting yourself live.”
I strongly believe that physical beauty is something to appreciate, however inner beauty is something to cherish. Inner beauty is my sister’s flushed cheeks from coming inside after a session of snow angel making. Beauty is my mom reaching out to the homeless man that greets the church doors searching for somewhere to belong. Beauty is in the sweat after a long hard day of yard work, or the flour on your forehead after baking a incredibly crafted cake. Beauty is in my brothers never ending willingness to forgive, or my fathers love of the peacefully simple things in life. Beauty is in small mannerisms like the way you like your hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, or the lines left from the magnificent process of aging, or simply the question of “how can I help?”
Tenderness. Perseverance. Creativity. Kindness. That what’s beautiful. That is what matters. Smooth hair and toned thighs is something to be thankful for, temporarily. Inner beauty, is something to hold close, eternally. The “perfect image” of beauty is a man made illusion, it’s not ideal, its exaggerated. The beauty that stays golden, will never ever tarnish.