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True Beauty

“True Beauty,” by Elizabeth M, is an article that discusses a current hot topic in society. Women today, especially teenage girls, experience the suffocating pressure of beauty. While there are many pieces encouraging girls to be self-confident and love themselves, “True Beauty” portrayed the same message in a unique way.

The narrator remembers her fifth grade teacher laughing while telling her she would never suffer from scoliosis, as if she was immune to it, or “too good for that ugly disease.” Because of this, the narrator is embarrassed by her condition when diagnosed with it. She sees it as disgusting and thinks it makes her a hideous, deformed person. She even goes through the trouble of buying new, baggy clothes to hide the back brace she needs to wear for a year.

Throughout that year, the narrator sees her back brace as a flaw and feels like everyone can see something is wrong with her appearance. She spent the whole year feeling self-conscious and afraid of being judged. However, when the time comes to remove the back brace, she sees a young girl in a wheelchair at the hospital. The girl is smiling and confident, showing the world how brave she is. This is when the narrator realizes that having a disability or not being “cookie-cutter beautiful” does not change who you are inside, which is what truly matters. There is no need to hide behind makeup or baggy clothing, because nobody is perfect.

While much of that may seem clichéd, “True Beauty” was an inspiring article. Through an honest tone, this piece conveys its message better than others of its kind, which end up sounding cheesy. I’m always glad to see inspirational stories printed in Teen Ink, especially well-written ones.




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