A monologue about eyes
I won’t bother speaking about the color of her eyes, as they are irrelevant. I won’t bore you with the typical blue oceans or pools of chocolate brown, as she can’t control her eye color. I won’t bother telling you how her eyelashes are unnaturally long, or how they bat and flutter little Eskimo kisses. No, I won’t enlighten you with any of that.
Her eyes widen when you speak to her. She can look you at you straight, without breaking eye contact for over eleven seconds, as most lawyers do with their jury to establish a personal connection. Some people let their guard down in the first few moments, but quickly resume passiveness as they fight the insecurities and vulnerabilities inherent in human nature.
When she’s struggling to find the perfect word, she’ll look up and slightly to the right, sifting through her brain. When she’s skeptical, she’ll grimace with the right cheek, and there will be a crease in the eyelid as it scrunches up with incredulity.
She doesn’t like to look down when she talks with people, and she despises looking away from them as they walk towards her in the street. She hates the way people turn their faces into masks, devoid of emotion. She hates how some are utterly unable to maintain eye contact, as if the glare were so intense it burned their retinas.
She is the literal embodiment of the sun, and it’s pretty clear once you look into her endless eyes.
Accepting the inevitable
For the readers that weren’t aware, I am seventeen. I’ve got a younger sister that is going on fifteen, and I just realized that yesterday.
I’ve been away from her for almost a month; I haven’t seen or heard her voice in weeks. I’ve been out of state at summer camp, and she has also been.
Since the end of junior year, I’ve been continuously pre-occupied with the struggle of college and summer activities and what not, and I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like to reflect on our relationship. Sure, I saw her at dinner every night and still spent time with her during the day, but a transformation never seemed evident.
So when I logged onto Facebook yesterday and saw that she had posted a summer album filled with photos depicting her summer camp experience, I was taken back.
Who is this girl? She looks so much more sophisticated and older than I’ve ever seen her; it almost seems inappropriate to refer to her as a ‘girl’. I feel as though the term ‘young lady’ would do her more justice. Her baby-ish features have almost disappeared, replaced with a slim bone structure. It may seem like I’m stretching the truth, but the fact that my sister is going to high school in a matter of months scares me.
As inevitable as it is, it’s hard to accept, even though she spent 3 weeks on her own at some summer camp.
I continue to click through her Facebook album. She’s tan, she’s hanging out with lots of males (in contrast, she’s normally had mainly female friends in the past), she looks genuinely happy…she’s growing up.
She hasn’t grown up, she’s just in the process of a winding, confusing period of her life. I can sense that she will struggle to find herself in the midst of so many societal pressures. I know that I did, and that I still am.
The transition from middle school to high school is almost an official gesture towards the oncoming wave of puberty, change, and self-discovery that will be countered with peer pressure and drama. She most likely won’t see these changes coming; at least, I didn’t. However, now that I look back at the last three years, I see a completely different person than who I was at the beginning of ninth grade.
It seems like just yesterday I was gushing to my friend about how excited I was to finally be in high school. It’s as if I had just been discussing with my cousin the woes of her college apps, and yet today she is about to start her second year of college.
To see a drastic change in my sister’s appearance and composure is unsettling.
Personality cannot be photoshopped
When I’m walking down the street and I see someone, I don’t wonder about his personality. The sad reality is that I’ll only take the time to observe what he looks like.
Don’t get me wrong, you can infer much from one’s appearance, but too often we disregard the person underneath their distracting features, hair, makeup, and clothing alike. Walking past someone on a sidewalk is certainly excusable. But faced with a person, do we assume too much from their visual impression?
We should take the time to get to know someone before we automatically make judgments. When the verdict is in and whether is it positive or negative, you can go to sleep a little less guiltily.
People are worth more than their facial features and their bone structure. Authors and singers don’t and shouldn’t have to rely on physical attraction to promote talents that have nothing to do with such a thing.
Of course, what they look like still holds some importance, but the sheer success and following they acquire from a skill such as writing or singing comes from hard work and talent, not what they look like.
When many see this happen on a daily basis, the idea becomes engraved in their conscience, so that they believe that their potential reaches only as far as their makeup lasts. This belief could be detrimental to someone’s self esteem! No matter how many times other people support you and tell you that you are worth it, that you are talented or smart, you won’t feel that way unless you believe it yourself.
Whenever people put an emphasis on physical appearance as the determining factor in worth and value, the problem is exacerbated. Worse, we gradually become dependent upon outside opinions to assure us of our importance, when self-love is the greatest experience.
Of course, one’s opinion of another’s visual appearance is always arbitrary, but there are definitely recurring trends in society today that have convinced many that fat is ugly, that a thigh gap is desirable, that tan skin is sexy, that there’s a certain equilibrium between big and small feet, and so much more.
But who are we to judge, when our appearances is something that we have little control over? Sure, you can dye your hair and plaster on makeup, but self-love. Self-love. Who told you that your hair color was boring and drab? Who convinced you that you shouldn’t want to embrace your freckles? The images in magazines and advertisements are constantly changing, but we should not be taught to follow trends.
Unfortunately, what everyone tells us is never taken seriously. Parents, teachers, and encouraging friends always claim that the good people will care only about inner beauty, when in reality, if someone has determined that another individual is “ugly,” they won’t even bother taking the time to dig deeper and find that perhaps the other person has a personality so bright and charismatic that their mother would go crazy.
On the other hand, this happens in the reverse as well. When someone is seen as handsome or beautiful, they are desirable. Their entire persona comes off as handsome and beautiful too. In this sense, there is less misunderstanding because people will tend to draw closer to these people. In fact, there are many individuals that society considers good looking, that have absolutely atrocious personalities, all masked under their pretty faces. (Which is not to exclude the possibility of someone being both arbitrarily beautiful on the inside and out!)
If you became close enough to a person like this to find out their true nature, then bless your soul, because I find that so many people just ignore the blatant character flaws and continue spending time with someone, entirely for their physical appearance.
It is the constant obsession with looks, the ongoing battle with insecurity that everyone faces. What are we to do about such a negative phenomenon in our world?
Everyone struggles. I have my ups and downs with body image and combats with inaccurate first impressions, so it is evident to me that there must be a middle ground.
Don’t completely disregard body image. Stay fit, but only for healthy reasons. Exercise and eat well for yourself, not for other people, because this sort of motivation never lasts. It’s also based on the necessity for other people’s approval, when everyone knows that in the real world, there will always be people who see something wrong with you, whether on the inside or the out.
Body image is important, but not for the reasons we’ve been believing recently. It’s important to have a confidence, but not to dress or look like every other person on the streets.
Beauty and physical appearance are also fading qualities. Lots of high schoolers (including myself at times) find it hard to remember that dimples disappear, that skin grows leathery and old, and that youthful skin is not forever.
Of course, I”m not suggesting that we should get to know every person we walk past on the street, but in a closer situation, perhaps it is worth getting to know someone before you base your opinion solely off their looks.
Prioritizing physical features is both pointless and destructive. Sure, they matter, but only to a certain extent. I’m sure I’ve missed out on great friendship opportunities simply because of my naive, judgmental assumptions.
– inspired by my Tumblr reblogs
– neverstationary post about body image from October 2012
It Is So Easy To Hate People
Internet Explorer Girl’s face???/Different personalities, yo.
They’re just a speckle among the sea of people you know, the rest of which you feel passionate, neutral, ambivalent, or just plain indifferent about.
They’re not aware that you “hate” them, so they don’t try to defend themselves.
That, or they’re 100% aware and have reciprocated the hatred.
But in any case, I don’t think we should hate people anymore.
Hi. I’m Catherine, and I’m an extreme categorizer.
If you ask me about a person, I have a tendency to immediately blurt out whether or not I love them or hate them. Very rarely am I able to distinguish them as someone in between.
But I’ve given it a lot of thought (as well as love and reflection) and I’ve come to conclude that it’s not healthy to categorize people into extremes. You can’t 100% love or hate someone.
I used to categorize everyone I knew. Lately, I’ve made a huge effort to no longer categorize people, and to recognize them as what they are: human. Like me. Human.
It’s more detrimental to arbitrarily hate someone.
You think you hate them, but you probably don’t.
See, we are each our own person. The only things we know are what we see and what we hear. Both are never 100% accurate; both are obscured by our own predispositions and personal biases. Who are we to assume that we know everything about the people we supposedly hate? We have absolutely no stable foundation to base our hatred off of.
I am not an angel, you are not the devil. We are a combination of both. I would even go as far to say that I am not more angel than devil, and you are not more devil than angel. We’re probably equal in our angelic/devilish proportions, but we just evaluate these sorts of measurements in different ways. You shouldn’t hate someone for “sinning” differently than you.
Maybe you think you hate them because you two are just so different. You have completely different morals, backgrounds, opinions, perspectives, goals, and methods of achieving these goals. None of these disparities constitutes as a character flaw. They are character differences, and there’s nothing you can do about them. So, what to do at this point? Sometimes, opposites attract and live in harmony. Otherwise, it takes a bit of experimenting and suffering to realize that two personalities really don’t mix well. In the saddest of situations, people never realize that they are just suited to be companions, and lead unhappy relationships.
But what makes one lifestyle superior to another? Aren’t any reasons that you try to give completely arbitrary?
I also think part of the problem has to do with the media. Yes, we are constantly criticizing the media for destroying the beneficial aspects of human nature and yet, this has become somewhat of a blanket indict. The media is not totally evil. In this instance however, the media helps to spread these ideas that if two people have conflicts, someone is wrong and someone is right. The best example I can provide would be these things I see on Tumblr all day, everyday.
They’re always like:
“The biggest mistake I have made in my life is letting people stay in my life far longer than they deserve.”
Well, they’re inspiring, are they not? They’re effective, aren’t they? If taken seriously, they manage to keep one person from engaging in a conflict of some sort and “being the better person” or “being more mature” or “letting it go”. But these messages are also somewhat misleading. Don’t they make it seem like whoever reads these positive messages is the victim of some horrible bullying, and that the “bully” is wrong, insecure, misguided, etc. Of course, these messages are true – to an extent. There are definitely people out there that don’t treat others well, More often than not, this is really not the case; the real root of the problem arises from personality differences. And again, there’s nothing you can do about them.
Everyone should write.
I really think they should. For yourself or for an audience, it really doesn’t matter.
When you write for yourself, there’s no need to hold back. No fear of other people reading your thoughts, shocked when they discover your true nature. Let your personality come out. Your writing should reflect who you are when no one is really around; what you really think of someone, something, or somewhere. And in privacy, you should have the right to write about anything and everything. What did you think of your day? Was it better than yesterday? Why is that? How do you feel? Are you happy? Why or why not? Is it a temporary factor or something chronic? Continue reading