We are often exposed to beauty in the world. We see the beauty in flowers as we shuffle ourselves through parks and gardens; we see beauty expressed in art; and we see beauty in people. Yes, beauty is everywhere. But there is something we must understand about beauty: every rose has thorns.
In society today we see people struggling to maintain their looks; skin-deep beauty is being emphasized to the exclusion of all else and in the end the one thing that matters will suffer—your happiness.
Some people believe that if they have beauty they can truly be happy. They put so much work into their own beauty they ignore what’s really beautiful. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror, smiled and said, “I must be the happiest person on earth?” If you’re one of those people who plasters on cosmetics and wants loads of plastic surgery then my guess is you haven’t. Nothing is beautiful if you don’t appreciate your own looks; there is no beauty in altering your face in the hope that one day the world will notice you. The truth has always been there, hiding behind that mask of insecurity whispering to you, “The world has and is noticing you, every second of every day.”
Our insecurity always gets the better of us. My own personal perception is that we tend to ignore the good aspects of ourselves. This is caused by the community environment in which we live. The harmful influence of our environment is mentally destroying us, breaking down our confidence and self love.
That’s right, self love. Beauty begins when a person loves him- or herself enough that it creates a determined and confident shield against remarks and insults. One could consider this narcissistic, but this would be wrong; self love and narcissism are two completely different things.
Narcissism is when someone is over-confident and arrogant, and flaunts their beauty; it may be healthy for the individual, but not for those who see it and roll their eyes in disgust and envy. Self love is when we look at ourselves with appreciation and dignity, and constantly feel good about ourselves.
Many people are insecure and afraid of what other people will think about them based on their outer beauty. We need to always understand that beauty can be many things; but true beauty comes from within. Your emotional strength and courage is what shines; the deeper core that tells you what is really beautiful and what is not.
Raafi Seiff is 14 years old and is a student at Mentari International School in Jakarta, Indonesia