Rethinking Beauty

This piece was written by Katie Holmes. Katie is a 17 year-old high school student from Middlebury, Vermont. This year, she created a magazine called Future Game Changers that empowers young women to be strong, confident leaders while promoting true body confidence. You can read more about the magazine and see the prototype here. Katie Homes


“True beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.”

-Ellen DeGeneres

What happens when you google the word “beauty”?

Unfortunately, just what you would expect -- close-ups of photoshopped, thin, caucasian women bearing no sign of any imperfection. These are the same photos that grace the covers of our magazines, the ads of products we buy, and the images we envision as we try to better ourselves.

I am a victim of the media’s narrowly-defined word “beauty”. Are you?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to feel worthy in my own skin. But how can I ever feel good enough? We are surrounded by messages that tell us things like you’re not thin enough. Not tan enough. Not blonde enough. We read headlines like is school secretly making you fat? Shrink your inner thighs in 6 minutes a day! Lose weight while you eat. So you ate a cupcake? Fast moves to burn it off! Out of context, these headlines seem absolutely ridiculous. That is because they are.

We are so much more than what appears on the outside. We are multidimensional and dynamic. We have passions that extend far beyond the clothes we wear and the make-up we buy. For this reason, I’m challenging myself today. I am challenging all of us today. Take the time to remind yourself about what makes you beautiful. There are no wrong answers except no answer at all-- you were born beautiful. Is it your smile? Your courage? Your ability to empathize with others? Your love for the world around you? Recognize that beauty and take pride in it.

Next I challenge you to become a beauty ambassador. Think about the beauty in your friends, your family members, and your mentors. Surely, you don’t enjoy their company just based on their outer looks. Is it their grit? Their integrity? Whatever it may be, reflect on it, and then tell them. We all need to remind each other what true beauty is and how we can reflect on it in a positive way.