Mirror, Mirror

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I searched up beauty on Google Images once.

Photoshopped images of flawless women with perfect features filled up my screen. I suddenly felt self-conscious and looked away.

I think each one of us feels this way to some extent; picky with the difference between ourselves and these images. Striving to replicate the images into ourselves, we look into the mirror and say, "Why can't I be more beautiful?"

We have distorted our perception of beauty.

I have scoliosis. The rest of society stands straight, but my spine is curved, putting even farther of a distance between the images and myself. I don't have perfect curves, or the symmetrical torso that defines a beautiful figure.


People judged me. They whispered about the brace I wore to fix my spine, and the uneven curves of my hips. I was always insecure; worried my flaws had chipped away at my self-image.

I went to the bathroom mirror to examine my own reflection. My features. Weight. Style. Height. Sexuality. Even thoughts. Everything that is a part of who I am is different.

I don't look like the women in those images, not even close. No one's characteristics apply to me so there's no need to compare. They can't be beautiful in the way I am.

We filter ourselves with what people say, and we focus on our differences and call them imperfections. We try so hard just to fit in, to be the same as what we call beautiful that we forget to accept ourselves.

I mean, if we were all identical, fixed to perfection, would beautiful even exist?

Even with imperfections, even with differences, even with scoliosis and a bent spine, I am who I am. Self-confidence has allowed me to realize that I am beautiful.

So forget about the imperfections and embrace the many aspects that make up who you are. Remember that the original is always worth more than a copy.

You were made to stand out, to be different, to be unique in your own way. And really, that's the beauty of it.

With a perspective, I'm Jane Lee.

Jane Lee is a freshman at Cupertino High School.