Thought Cluster: Beauty

A guy I hadn’t talked to in a long time came up to me today after lunch and said: “Amy, you need to stop stressing about high school so much.” When I asked what gave the impression that I was stressed, he pointed to his head and whispered, “your hair,” mouthing “hair” as if it were a curse word. While I babbled about how it was an instinct and how it was hard to control, he faced me with the reality that I was going bald and that I needed to stop pulling out my “beautiful hair.” (Ha.)  He explained that sophomore year was tough for him as well, and that I needed to stay strong. Holding his hand up at shoulder level, I reached to squeeze it before thanking him and rushing off to my next class, hearing one last “you need to stop stressing!”

  • I’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly care about my appearance. Does a balding head cross any lines?
  • On makeup: I had a friend wearing some eyeliner today for a performance, (“They forced me to!”) and I didn’t notice until I looked closely. I reassured her that it accentuated her natural beauty. Asians look down upon heavy makeup, and their ideal of “good makeup” is putting on enough makeup so that it looks like you aren’t wearing any. Contrast that with Western society.
  • On selfies: I think that the number of “likes” on a Facebook/Instagram picture often isn’t reflective of how good a picture is– it’s  more a measure of how hard the photographer was trying to look”pretty” in their picture. “Beauty” in teen culture is different than the rest of society.
  • On being beautiful: Everyone has a natural inclination to please people that are good-looking, making their lives so much easier. Obviously unfair, but it’s pointless trying to deny it.
  • I have ridiculously high standards of beauty for people expected to be good-looking (aka all of the media and pop culture), yet I find everyone I know to be beautiful at some point, often times mid-conversation or when they don’t know I’m looking at them.
  • Most pressing: By what standard is my dry, poufy, fried-looking hair considered “beautiful”?

Sometimes I stare. I admit that I stare at people. But not because they’re hot or they’re not. Because sometimes I’ll look at someone and I see another human being trying to make it just like me. And honestly I think that’s beautiful.

letters to crushes

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