we see it everywhere
we see it in the eyes of a stranger passing us by on the sidewalk 
we see it in the hallways on all the kids who have never spoken more than a few words because they are ashamed of who they are.
we see it in the face of our best friend for whom of which we just want them to see it for themselves.
we want to see them grow before our eyes, for them to believe that what they are is truly beautiful.
to believe that nothing people say can bring them down. 
that they are above the words and the ridicule and the jeers and the mocking.
we know this is what they should believe until it is US that is walking and walking and walking and we stop and we turn and scream out,
"who is that hideous monster staring at me?!"
until we die down and realize it was only a mirror. 
a mirror in which we stand in front of and  notice that maybe our eyes are too crooked, our noses don't quite match up to our faces, that our smiles are hideous. 
we stand there until we are nothing more than a pile of insecurities where we once stood.
Perhaps we could be little taller, shorter, curvier, skinnier. 
Perhaps we SHOULD skip the next meal and say we just felt sick.
Perhaps we SHOULD stay home another weekend  because we "just don't feel like going out tonight."
Perhaps we should get that blade out just one... last... time. 
Until we look in the mirror again. 
We see it in the perfumed magazine ads that litter our newsstands. 
We see it on the television commercials for the bras that add 2 cup sizes.
We see it everywhere.
And now its time we start seeing it in ourselves.
Because beauty is not one definition.
Beauty is not defined by the boy that sits across from you in algebra.
Beauty is not defined by that one friend who just wants to "help us improve ourselves."
Beauty is not defined by our mothers when she tells us that we could "lose a few pounds."
And beauty is most certainly not defined by people out there in lala land who have no idea what hell we have to pay day after day after day in front of that mirror. 
Because beauty is our own definition.
 It's an empty book and we hold the pen in our shaking hands.
 We write what is beautiful to us.
And on that first line we will  write "myself."
Because we have been taught that self love is a sin and that self love is self absorption. We have been told this until we have it burned in our brains that maybe we aren't allowed to love ourselves and that maybe we are ugly. 
Maybe we do need to stuff our bras to add two cup sizes.
Maybe we shouldn't smile because our mouths are too large for our faces.
Maybe we should lose a few pounds.
Maybe we could skip the next meal. Then the next and the next and the next.
We will write ours books until they are complete.
Until we can stand in front of that mirror and realize we are beautiful.
Until we are smacked right between our crooked eyes with the realization that society is the ugly one, not us. 
And that we deserve to smile, too. 


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