Looking beyond the surface

Melissa - Burr Ridge, Illinois
Entered on April 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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You never know what kind of people you will meet in life. There appears to be a parade of colors, backgrounds, styles, and personalities and with no end to the possibilities. I remember as a child seeing people as what they looked like on the outside without even understanding who they truthfully were. As I grew older however I learned more about the complexity of the human being and the endless possibilities of personalities that could be hidden under that skin-deep surface.

Traveling to foreign countries seeing countless strangers has opened my eyes to the realm of new age kindness. Scraggly dressed marketers in the streets pointed me in the right direction with a smile and sometimes even escorted me to my destination. Groups of people with fascinating colors and styles bring together cultures intertwined with harmony and share their love of all kinds of things that make them who they are. They are what they believe in, not what they look like.

As I have grown accustomed to this new idea of soul, the beauty within, and the deception of the exterior, I have begun to express myself through my art. The eye, a device of great power and also great flaws, has become my favorite subject matter. People can judge me by how I look; their eyes can find exterior flaws. Eyes however cannot see souls like only the heart can. One of my art pieces is a depiction of Edward Scissorhands. He looks at himself through his own deformities, his scissorhands, without the intention to hurt or create fear. He is a misunderstood individual with so much love, creativity and care to provide the world with, yet only a few see this potential. I feel the same way.

In junior high everyone knew me. This created a comfort, knowing I had a place where I could be myself without question. High School however, posed a new atmosphere for me, one where I didn’t have my friends always at my side. It was a place where virtually no one knew me. I became that quiet girl who sat in the corner with black eyeliner and studded gaudy jewelry that no one wanted to talk to. However a few people slowly became accustomed to me, accepted me for my heart instead of for my appearance. They are the friends I will keep for the rest of my life. They penetrated the exterior that their eyes presented them with, and used their hearts to give me a chance.

I have discovered the best parts of life by being different, being unique and expressing myself in fashions that some people will never even begin to comprehend. I don’t intend on causing fear or hate, only peace and harmony. By accepting me, people show themselves their own power to understand one’s soul and to understand the hidden beauty that I have built my entire life off of. The truth lies on the inside, and in this I believe.