You Are Beautiful

What is something you have done to improve your community?

A few days ago, I watched a video titled “People React to Being Called Beautiful,” made by a student, Shea Glover. She filmed various other students and told them she was “taking photos of things [she] find[s] beautiful.” The various reactions are surprising to say the least. Most students laughed and smiled. Other responses are more heartbreaking.

One girl gives a small smile then looks down and bites her lip.

Another covers her face, deeming herself unworthy for the camera.

A boy asks, “Are you serious?”

It’s obvious that none of these subjects were used to hearing this kind of compliment; that really pulled at my heartstrings. It also reminded me of the romanticized culture of teenage life, filled with angst and a desire to “fit in.”

And it reminded me of when I first sought out to create a school newspaper. The disapproval of peers can be a crushing force, one that can stifle ideas. I had heard stories about newspapers at other schools: “No one really reads it, honestly,” confided a friend. “It’s mostly run by the English teacher and just features random short stories and essays”. And yes, most students aren’t terribly interesting in reading other students’ English assignments, but the generally negative opinion had helped...

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