America the Beautiful impresses

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Kaitlyn Akers

Originally, I didn’t want to go see the showing of America the Beautiful. It was really cold outside and I had a large amount of homework to tackle. I didn’t want to listen to someone lecture me at 7 p.m.; I had already sat through lectures all day.

After leaving Kennedy Hall, I couldn’t have been more disgusted from what I had witnessed, but I didn’t regret going for a single minute.

Basically, the documentary followed a young girl who had aspirations of being a model, along with testimonies from other girls, families, men and companies that hire women.

During the film, I could feel my stomach turn as girls who were as young as 14 told the camera that they weren’t pretty and they felt as if they needed to lose weight.

These girls, contrary to what they believed, were a normal and healthy weight, but society has told them from day one that they weren’t living up to the standards. They were told that they needed to change in order to be accepted.

It suddenly hit me while I was in Kennedy. These girls that claimed they weren’t pretty or skinny enough were about the same age as my younger sister. My baby sister, who is 12 and about a size four (not through dieting, she is just a tiny person), is probably going through the same things with her friends.

After I picked her up in Bridgewater, I remember her telling me that her friend was whining about how she wasn’t skinny enough (even though the girl is just as small), and I remember my sister looking at me and saying, “I don’t get why she thinks she isn’t good enough or pretty enough, Katie. She’s such a nice, pretty and smart girl.”

I debated with myself the entire hour drive back to Millbury, why didn’t she think that she was pretty enough?

And suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks.

There are always those girls in middle school that live off of hurting other people’s feelings. They get pure enjoyment out of watching other people suffer, and some are unaware of the consequences of their actions.

But then I realized I was just like my little sister’s friend and the girls in the documentary; I criticize myself all the time, calling myself fat and thinking I’m not good enough, because that was what I was told when I was a kid—just like them.

But these people in the movie saying that those girls weren’t good enough are adults. Adults that fully know the repercussions of bullying, and yet here they are, telling girls that they aren’t skinny enough to model.

And then I realized (I mean I knew it, but it really hit me) that there is an overabundance of criticism in this world that we live in, and not enough complimenting. Those simple compliments could change someone’s day entirely, because everyone is different and everyone has a story.

Unlike a guy in the documentary who said that women are objects (which you can imagine didn’t settle well with a heavily-dominated female audience), I believe that I am a human. I make mistakes, I stumble and I get right back up.

And I will fully admit that I am astronomically far from perfect. The difference is, it’s those qualities that make me who I am. It’s those imperfections that allow me to get back up, brush off the negativity and try again.
Beauty isn’t just superficial. There are many people that have a beautiful personality, those who genuinely care, those who want to help and do good in the world.

The point is, no one has the ability to tell anyone what they are worth. There is not a single person in this world that can tell me that I am not beautiful, because they can’t decide who is beautiful and who isn’t.

So, to those who believe they have the right to dictate who is “beautiful” and who isn’t, you’re wrong. You’re wrong for thinking that you have the right to choose who’s “beautiful” and wrong for thinking that it’s just superficial.

I, just like every other woman, am beautiful.

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