It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

Hannah - Brighton, Tennessee
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that inner beauty is much more important than outer beauty. Our society, however, doesn’t seem to share this view. Every magazine, commercial, and music video displays an attractive man or woman. I can’t help but to question what these people are like when they aren’t in front of the cameras. Are they intelligent? Do they have a caring attitude towards others? Do they have self confidence without arrogance? It’s sad that so many people are obsessed with their appearances instead of their inner self. Not too long ago, I was forced to deal with a situation that tested my inner beauty.

Throughout high school, I watched so many people, especially girls, turn into individuals I never thought they would become. This change occurred all because they wanted to be the prettiest or most popular. I, however, knew from day one that I wanted to set myself apart from everyone else. Being the stereotypical blonde was not an option. I wanted to be a leader, a friend, and a role model. On our twenty year class reunion, I want my classmates to look back and say, “She was a really genuine person,” not “She used to be pretty. What happened?” Looks are fleeting, but character is everlasting.

After Oscar Night, our Senior awards night, was held I went home with three little gold trophies, but only two that mattered. I won Miss BHS (Miss Brighton High School), Best Friends, and Most Attractive. The title “Miss BHS” was the biggest honor I’ve ever received. It was the only award that had requirements for you to go by when nominating. The recipient of Miss BHS had to represent the school well, have a certain GPA, and be approved by the administration. After winning this award, I knew I had accomplished my goal. My peers saw the real me. The Best Friends award meant a lot too, but the award I cared least about is the one that caused me the most trouble. This is when it hit home that outer beauty really is the center of some people’s lives. Girls who I thought were my friends started gossiping about me and nasty looks were directed towards me the following week. The ratio of hateful looks to congratulatory words was a million to one. I almost let this get me down, but that’s when my inner beauty took over. Not once did I retaliate or lower the standards I had set for myself. They kept talking and I kept ignoring. I let the qualities and characteristics of my heart shine through.

Not to say that my views are always right, but I wish this was the perception our world had on beauty. We would be so much happier because we could be who we want to be and not feel as though we’re being judged based on appearance. I feel it’s time for our society to take a reality check and start focusing on the things that really matter. Maybe then, people will start realizing that inner beauty outshines outer beauty.