This I Believe

Melissa - Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Whether it is the gloss sheen of an autobiography, the matte toned down look of a non-fiction novel, or the glitz of a teen fiction, I have enjoyed the many books I’ve judged by their covers. I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words and that a cover of a book is just a picture to briefly sum up the thousands of thousands of words between designs. I believe that books have the right to be judged, if judged properly. I believe that first impressions give insight, but cannot always be trusted.

On many occasions I have found myself looking at the color, pictures, and text on the fronts and backs of books. I use these first impressions to predict what will be inside. Sure, this method may not be useful in all cases, but it hasn’t proven me wrong yet. I have read countless novels without even glancing at the title, numerous books without even cracking them open. This method of “beauty before brains” uses appearance to predict reality. Sure, the hundreds of pages may be filled with detail, but the glamorous, carefully laid-out pictures on the front are what drive me to read on.

People too can often be loosely described by how they appear to be. Whether it is a job interview, random interaction on a street, or reflection to the first time you met your best friend, looks were the driving force of curiosity. Every interaction comes with a first impression. The details of the person, however, cannot be concrete. When formulating the many aspects of a first impression, some aspects cannot be taken into account. Clearly, you wont know about the life-altering car crash they were in, childhood trips to grandma’s house, what the scar on their right cheek is from, or their favorites song, but the first glimmer of a person is often what is most captivating.

I believe that like books, people shouldn’t be judged by how they appear, but they are and its ok. Everyone makes first assumptions about their new teacher, sister’s new boyfriend, or the new kid in school through how they look. This is what first impressions are all about. People, too, are categorized by how they present themselves. Whether you see a woman in a freshly pressed suit, an old man in a jogging outfit, or a group of teens in jeans and tee-shirts, you make assumptions. These definitions of character come from instinct and perception. I believe what you see on the outside reflections what is inside, but don’t be fooled, there is more that meets the eye.