We are so obsessed with beauty but what really is beauty? It depends on what you find beautiful. So if beauty is so broad of a term then why is it that we push people into these defined boxes of what we think beauty should be? And why do we criticize people for being outside of those boxes? For me it started at a young age. My mom always wanted a girl to dress up and do their hair. I constantly wore dresses and had bows in my hair as a young kid. My family was also very into fitness. I remember my mom telling me in the fourth grade that I had a double chin. Looking back now I know that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was always one of the smallest and skinniest kids in my class. She would constantly criticize how I dressed and that my hair was a mess. All of her pushing turned me into quite the tomboy, plus being raised with brothers wasn’t helping. In the sixth grade for my birthday I received a vanity with make-up and a blow dryer. I think she was trying to bond with me woman to woman but I just wasn’t interested in any of those things. In the seventh grade she told me that my teeth were yellow and that I should start whitening them. When I told my friends they thought I was crazy. Nobody at that age was worrying about yellow teeth, they were too busy being kids and playing sports. My mom would also make constant comments about how WE can’t eat certain foods because WE’RE watching our weight. Not sure what you’re talking about but I’m eating those fries. These are just a few of the examples that occurred to me. You may have heard similar things from strangers or maybe even friends. All of these criticisms are just telling people, hey you don’t fit into my box of what a person should look like. Well who are you to tell me what I should look like? Who are you to criticize what I wear or how I do my hair? Isn’t that what makes life so great and interesting; the uniqueness all around us. What is acceptable in one culture may not be acceptable to another. I propose that we all try a little harder to be more accepting of one another and that we stop being so afraid to be ourselves. We especially need to stop polluting kids minds with what they need to look like. Kids have better things to worry about; school, sports, music, etc. Let them explore and discover who they are on their own. Honestly my style would probably never be what it is today if it wasn’t for the fact that I was in a long term relationship where I didn’t feel the need to constantly impress someone. I knew I was loved just for being me. So lets try to give others, even strangers, that same support.