This I Believe

Katherine - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that everyone is beautiful and that if people finally came to this realization, the world would be a much better place. There is so much pressure on people, especially those in my demographic, young women, to be “beautiful”. Our society knows that every young woman in some way, shape, or form longs to be beautiful, to be told they are beautiful, and to be treated as if they were beautiful. However, society has taken advantage of this perfectly natural desire. It has made “beautiful” a term used exclusively to describe the rich and the famous. Girls are bombarded with images of women in the entertainment and fashion industries and told, “This is what beautiful looks like and if you don’t look this way, either fix it or forget about it.” As a young woman, I know how damaging this mentality our society has adopted can be. I happen to be a rather thin girl; it’s in my genetics to have a fast metabolism and to be built small. But even I have struggled with issues about my weight. I am 5’5” and 115 lbs. and I have come to like that about myself. But my freshmen and sophomore years of high school, I hated my weight. I thought that because I wasn’t 5’10” and a size zero, I wasn’t beautiful. I honestly thought I would be a happier and more satisfied individual if I looked like one of the models in a magazine. Thankfully, I never did do anything to change my weight, but for a time I seriously considered it. Also, in middle school, I would’ve given anything to have my nose done. My nose is fine. But I thought that because most of the celebrities had thin, pointy noses that I should too. That my nose was somehow less beautiful than the nose of, say, Britney Spears. Now that I come to think of it, noses are not ever really beautiful. They are just a functioning body part… a rather gross functioning body part, in fact. Not only does the mentality that there is only one kind of beautiful cause girls to disrespect themselves, it causes girls to disrespect other girls. Girls can be very mean to each other and at a very young age. I remember being told in fifth grade that I had lips like Dolly Parton. It was not meant to be a compliment seeing as how it was accompanied with dirty looks and snickering. And as a fifth grader, I wished my lips were smaller. Now, my lips are my favorite feature, tied with my eyes. But still, being told that really hurt my feelings and made me self-conscious. Girls picking on other girls for the way they look is a far too common occurrence in our society today. The way beauty is treated in today’s culture causes so much damage to girls, and I believe this damage is unnecessary. If everyone realized that not only they themselves we’re beautiful but that everyone is beautiful, people would be kinder to each other and kinder to themselves.