When I was a child my avo would always say, “The prettiest thing about you should be your heart”. Growing up with that kind of mentality has really contributed into transforming me into someone who values an individual’s character rather than their appearance. My grandmother is the most inspiring, selfless, and strongest person that I know. To me, when I look at my avo, I see beauty.
As society develops, so do we; we begin prioritizing the wrong things in life. When we were children, our problems consisted of trying to colour inside the lines; however, now our problems involve the three “f’s”: fashion, fame, and fortune. Having the latest fashion trends, and trying to maintain our social status’ are becoming our primary issues in life.
Have you ever walked down the streets of downtown and noticed a homeless person sitting on the street a couple of blocks away? What did you do? “Oh wait…”, you pondered, “If I give him change, he’ll probably use it for drugs”. There. Decision made. Avoid eye contact. Pretend he’s not there. He’s wearing rags and sitting on the floor; he looks like he hasn’t showered in weeks, so he doesn’t deserve to be treated like a human because he doesn’t look like one. If you have done this, you have prioritized appearance over character. Everybody deserves a chance to prove themselves to others; however, some people do not give them the chance to because their appearance may not be up to society’s standards. The person wearing rags could be more beautiful in spirit than the person sitting next to you in a suit carrying a brief case. With that said, being beautiful is not associated with having money.
When I was a child, my mother would give me $5 allowance for cleaning my room every week, which was equivalent to being rich in children terms. Sometimes when I was a child I would donate my $5 by buying a homeless person a sandwich and giving it to them without even thinking twice about buying myself a lollipop instead. Usually it’s a child’s natural instinct to give instead of to take just because their minds haven’t been corrupted by society yet. They don’t look at a homeless person differently than they look at themselves.
You make ask how our values have changed from when we were children to now. This is because as we grew older, we began to become more exposed to the media which unfortunately, does more harm than good. In this media-based society, we cannot help but involve ourselves with the wrong ideas of what is means to be beautiful. Being beautiful doesn’t mean looking like Kendall Jenner; instead, being beautiful means being you. As media evolves, so is the word “perfection”. Society is constantly trying to reach this unattainable idea of “perfection”. Perfection doesn’t exist in humans because making mistakes is human nature. It’s not about how many mistakes we avoid, but about how we pick ourselves up and recover from them; It’s not about being a person of high status, but instead, it’s about being a person rich in spirit. Being beautiful is not having the “perfect” body, or the “perfect” hair; instead, being beautiful means having a heart of gold.
Until next time, xoxo
Monique-Miss Teenage Peel 2016