By Kate, age 18, California
I find it very difficult today to pick up a magazine or turn on the TV without being reminded that our culture thrives on youth and beauty. Often times we are smothered in advertisements for products that will better us so we can match up to today's demographic. Whether it be a remedy for bags under our eyes, a vanishing cream for cellulite, or a seemingly harmless injection for wrinkles, people want to be beautiful. I admit to it. But what I don't fully understand is how so many people work so hard on their external beauty but never take the time to realize their inner beauty. When did the unpretentious soul discover vanity?
I feel as if beauty is forced upon us. As many times as we hear people say, "You are beautiful inside and out", we tend to take the "out" part more seriously. Our world has become so obsessed with the need for beauty that we don't realize the beauty already existing around us.
So many human beings, especially females, develop low self-esteem when they see these beautifully photo-shopped men and women on TV and in magazines. I find it nearly impossible to walk down the street without seeing a fashion ad displaying luridly thin models who are scantily clad. I am not trying to be a hypocrite, for I too have been modeling for some time now. I just feel as if I am doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Everyone should feel good about themselves no matter who they are or what they look like. I want to be an advocate for self-acceptance. I just feel incredibly guilty for being so vain and judgmental toward those who are not what society expects them to be. But honestly, how can our society expect us to be anything short of ourselves? We were not put on this earth to make others feel bad about themselves. In my opinion, we were put on this earth to fulfill our calling and to make a difference. Love is the real movement. When we learn to love ourselves for exactly who we are, acceptance of others becomes second nature.
I truly believe our society needs a wake up call. At the end of it all, what we give is what we get returned. So if you choose to stick with the hype, the so-called beauty of it all, that's your choice. Just know that the real beauty already exists. It's inside your heart. Beauty exists in everything you do. Accept who are and what you are all about. No anti-wrinkle cream is worth the money when you can have all the beauty you want for free.
Learn to love yourself. (Easier said than done.)