This I Believe

Sarah - Clinton Township, Michigan
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Beauty Skin Deep

“Our hearts are drunk with a beauty our eyes could never see.” –George W. Russell

Upon the spacious lily pad, an extraordinary flower lightly sits. The ripples of the pond from the cool breeze move each petal back and forth. You would never bring this blossomed water lily to your nose thinking it would smell as bizarre as it looks. The oddly shaped petals are placed around the pistil in an uneven matter exhibiting a diverse illustration. This white flower does not have those bright colors that make your heart skip a beat each time you gaze into its faultless petals. Although this lily is not as gorgeous as a rose or as dazzling as a sunflower, the innermost beauty it brings produces a feeling of not only comfort but happiness. The water lily sits specifically centered in the middle of the small pond creating a flawless picture that leaves anyone who comes into tact with it, breathless.

You could say that I developed quite faster than a normal girl in second grade. I had small lumps on my chest and a tremendous height, making people believe I would never stop growing. By middle school, these lumps grew into large bulges of tissue yet my height stayed the same. My body was irregular but I still had a good head upon my shoulders. Unluckily, I could never say I was thin. My hips bulged over my jeans creating handles that didn’t represent much love. The flaws I had could have broken me; but instead, I was built into a person with confidence that exceeded all my imperfections.

Entering high school, I gained many friends who enjoyed my presence and unique personality; but somehow, this wasn’t enough for me. By homecoming, I believed that I needed to change. I fake tanned, whitened my teeth, wore hair extensions, and applied pounds of Mary Kay to hide little blemishes that probably weren’t even there. I was glued to the sight of perfection. On the day of homecoming, I thought my dress made me look fat, my hair wasn’t big enough, and my shoes didn’t give me the height I desired. The next day, I came across the photos taken of myself before the dance and I couldn’t help but cry. The girl standing in the photo was not me. I was hidden underneath someone I didn’t know, trying to be something I definitely wasn’t.

This experience changed my whole outlook on life. The word “perfection” was restricted from my vocabulary at once. I wanted to transform back into that little girl in middle school and bring back the confidence I used to have. I immediately altered my appearance into something I was comfortable with and went back to believing that my personality was the best attribute. I knew that the beauty I held was within and nothing could break that from me. My freshman year was good for me, causing a realization of who I am inside rather than striving to be someone else. I am now a sophomore with many friends and a life that is lived to the fullest at each moment. My understanding and belief of inner beauty is now the strongest element of my life.

A water lily is an unusual flower and is usually only found in irrigation. When found, it gives off a presence that is misleading. This flower may be different but always gives an image the right touch. Smelling that flower gives the aroma of its splendor and shows that it truly is beautiful. I, myself grew into a water lily and now, my beauty is and always will be skin deep.