Neena - Homewood, Alabama
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I had a dream that I was in a perfect world, but a world with no faces, no skin color, no sizes, and no voices; then, I noticed that I was not in this perfect world but merely watching it and seeing no one.

“What am I without my face,” I asked myself. But, then again, what am I without my skin color that separates me from the rest, my size that further isolates me, and finally my own voice which allows me to perceive myself as well as others as something else.

When I awoke, I pondered about these questions because I believed sincerely for the life of me that these were my indispensible possessions; without these, I couldn’t be me.

The first thing I do each morning is wake up, but who am I waking up to be? Why do I need my face, what is so important about the color of my skin, who decides what size I should be, and how do I determine my own voice. I believed that all those things made up who I was. Who am I, if not African-American, a public speaker, a larger female, or even beautiful?

However, I thought about the word “beautiful.” What makes me beautiful, and who made me my own critic? Aren’t I my own #1 fan? I also shunned others ideas because I, myself, didn’t believe the words they spoke. It is hard seeing that even through my own experiences I couldn’t believe the word beautiful applied to me or why I knew others were. I thought back to when I was a little girl and I judged a girl named Virginia. She was truly beautiful in every way, but my “friends” always told me she hated people of my skin tone. She was always so hurt when I accused her of such beliefs because she never thought like that, but I allowed “people like me” (my skin color, my size, talked about and liked things I liked) to cloud what I should have seen. Virginia was a great friend, and she died of a tumor of the brain the day before we were supposed to sit together, and I never had a chance to tell her how sorry I was. That’s when I realized why my perfect world had no faces, or sizes, or skin color, or even voices. Those things were just the surface details that I thought mattered. In actuality, they all had these things, but they weren’t the most important. Virginia showed me these simple things are not what make anyone beautiful.

People make a difference in your lives because of who they are and not how they look or sound. I believe we should appreciate the color of peoples’ souls, their expressions, their actions, and what they say because how you look and sound will never be as important as whom you really are.