This I Believe

Jim - Plymouth, Indiana
Entered on July 16, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I can walk into any grocery store or gas station and find a magazine with ten different articles for women on how to make themselves more beautiful, glamorous, and sexier. I can find the same type of magazines for guys, to inform them of what is in style, how to wear their hair, or how to look “hot”.

I live in a generation in which the media has a strong influence in our lives. The media presses upon women and men that they must look a certain way in order to be beautiful. Sometimes these tips and guidelines become the reason we are accepted or rejected in our society. I live in a world in which women think their legs are too big, their hair isn’t interesting enough, their breasts are too small, or their skin is imperfect. I live in a barrack, in which guys are made fun of for being too fat, not strong enough, having acne, wearing glasses, or looking geeky. The media channels us into seeing only what they want us to see. It has created an unattainable beauty that people strive to achieve but to find the only reward is disappointment.

I believe that people are most beautiful when they are not meant to be or trying to be. Beauty cannot be faked; it’s just there waiting for us to admire it. Beauty is like the nature that surrounds us. Flowers, lakes, mountains, sunsets, and starry nights were not altered to look beautiful; they just are beautiful. And these objects of beauty are noticed and enjoyed without complaint. We can not imitate this beauty in the form of creams, tans, surgeries, or “ten tips to looking sexier”. To give into the media and its ideas of beauty blinds us from the beauty that already exists in our world.

We all know someone that has been caught in the media’s trap. My friend absorbed information from magazine articles about fashion and beauty faster than she could take in a paragraph from her history book. She did all this to try and impress her crush. She wore brand name clothes and enough make-up to make Barbie jealous. If she was pretty enough she could hang out with her crush and the other reproductions of the media’s spotlight. After being heart-broken by her crush the night of prom, I found her outside crying on the sidewalk. She wiped her tears away as I approached, as well as the make-up that had smeared. She had never looked more attractive then she did then, in her most natural state. She was not trying to look beautiful; she just was beautiful.

No matter how much the media influences our lives or convinces us that we can be more beautiful by following a couple of simple steps, there will always be the natural beauty we each possess. It is an unfading beauty that could never possibly be replicated. Open your eyes and take a look around your world. “The world is what you see in it; see it beautiful.”