Long sexy legs, tight butt, large perky boobs, bronzed skin, perfect “just left the salon” blonde hair, large vibrant eyes, and stilettos; this is what we see when we open a magazine, turn on the television, and even hear in our music everyday. Didn’t our mothers’ always tell us that beauty comes from within? Then why is it that all we see are appearances?
Last year I had a boyfriend. Many a time he would suggest that I cut and color my hair, made certain that my nails were done, and convinced me to get my belly-button pierced. He would tell me to wear a certain flip-flop and whenever he got a chance, he would tell all of his buddies how he was going to buy me a boob job. He told me that he liked my personality, but it was the shallow, half-hearted compliments that led me to believe he didn’t understand true beauty.
I have one particular friend that showed me what it is to really be beautiful. She is the most complimentary person I have ever met. I used to think she often lied to others when she’d tell them she liked their outfit, their hairdo, or that they have the prettiest eyes ever. As she was building their confidence; I was starting to see people through her eyes. I saw their different personalities shining out of them. The day I realized I had changed was two summers ago when I looked at one of my drug addicted co-workers and saw something different. She was always in a good mood, but never before could I get past her sin. On this day I found she had a great smile behind her meth-stained, crooked teeth and decided to really give her a chance. My friend helped me to find the beauty within a person.
I would love to see the day when everyone has a “kid-view” of each other. When we’re toddlers, we want everyone to be our friend. However, at sometime we were taught to be weary of a certain types of people. I actually babysat two kids this past summer. The youngest would refer to African-Americans as “brown” people and the oldest would mention how brown people are retarded. These two kids will grow up without having ever gotten to know how interesting, fun, and amazingly similar we are to the so-called “brown people”. They have been unknowingly taught to not give different people a chance.
I have had to learn that beauty can be found within a person. I can only hope that one day men and women won’t go after another solely on their sexual appeal, we can stop judging people for the things in their past, and we stop putting stereo-types on people. One of these days we’ll look back and realize that we have all had opportunities to make a friend, if only we would have taken the time to see their true beauty that shone within.
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