Looking In and Finding Beauty

M - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

People sometimes look at me like I am not normal. They seem to think I am different from them because of the way that I look. Growing up, I have always been bigger than most of my other classmates. I knew I was bigger than them, and it didn’t bother me. I felt like I was the same as any other student around me. I never saw my size as a barrier between my peers and myself. However, it only took one classmate to change my opinion about myself. After the first person said something negative or derogatory toward me many others ensued.

Why was I the only child in my class to be excluded by other students because of my size? I was picked last for team games, and I constantly had practical jokes played on me. No other person had to endure this agony and shame in front of the other students, and this was just because I was fatter than the rest of my class. Why wouldn’t they try to get to know me on the inside? Get to know the young girl that they were changing, closing off and secluding. I was a good person, if only they would let me show them, but, no, they only cared what I looked like.

Throughout most of my adolescent life, I have had to put up with many ignorant people judging me on my outer appearance instead of who I was on the inside. I believe that what is in a person’s heart and mind is what matters. The bible says in Galatians 2:6, “God does not judge by external appearance.” This is the way I try to live. When I encounter someone who doesn’t fit society’s ideal of pretty, I try to find the beautiful part in him or her.

I have been judged by the way I look my whole life, and not only has this distorted the way I feel about myself, but also they way I feel about others. I was just an innocent child who didn’t see the difference and I was changed by the world’s views of worthlessness. I was different. Not different in a positive way, but different in a way that made me feel bad about myself. I started to become ashamed of the person society said I was becoming.

I have begun to cope with the fact that people do not realize their actions hurt people. No matter what a person looks like, talks like, or acts like, they are just as important as the next person. No one can tell me that I am not as important as everyone else because I have come to the realization that everyone has their own flaws whether their flaws are inside or out. People are made in all different ways, and I believe that discrimination against a person because of their look is hurtful and the inside is what really matters.