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  • Writer's pictureRossana Snee

Skin Deep!

I was at a party a while back when I overheard someone at my table say, “She was an ugly woman!” Ouch. I didn’t know the woman to whom he was referring, but I felt a tinge of sadness that she was being talked about in such a demeaning way.

Several things went through my mind when I looked at the man making the remark. One, who was he to judge her looks? Two, why was he even saying something like that? Other than defining himself as someone with a need to judge the appearance of others, what did he gain? I often hear people evaluating other people on their behavior, their looks, their talents, or lack thereof, and a host of other things.

Since when did we become Judge & Jury? We have no right to criticize someone’s looks. This is one of the many things that has caused strife and pain in the world. These are some of societal judgments that make absolutely no sense, but cause many problems: Dark people are ugly; Asians need eyelid surgery to correct the eye shape with which they were born (in North Korea this is done to have a better chance at finding employment); blonde women are dumb; redheads are too fair and have too many freckles. The list goes on. Maybe you can come up with some of your own. It's terrible that we can't just embrace all differences. Recently, I was watching an Indian movie called 2 States in which a mom told her son not to date the woman he was in love with because she was from another region and "too dark!" The girl was actually fairer than her son, but the fact remains, a judgment was made about a person based on her appearance, not her qualifications as a human being.

Let’s suppose a woman is born with a port wine stain on her face. What could she do about it? Other than have multiple laser surgeries that may or may not work, not much. And what if that same woman didn't want to put herself through that agony? Why should she be judged on something as insignificant as the skin that keeps her organs in place. She can’t change how she looks, nor should she have to, just to appease whoever is looking at her.

We are all born with a certain package. Maybe some packages are wrapped a little nicer than others. But it’s what’s wrapped that’s important. The package can change in the blink of an eye. You could be wrapped in a beautiful package that can get eaten by a chimp, like Charla Nash’s did in 2011, or burned beyond recognition in a terrible accident, like Jaqueline Saburido did in 1999. Then what?

We need to stop judging people by the way they look. We need to stop judging people, period.

If you were to walk into a botanical garden and look around, what would you see? Flowers, lots of flowers, all different shapes, sizes, colors. Would you judge them? Would the flowers judge each other? “Hey, look at that rose over there. Who does it think it is? So red and with so many petals? Bitch!” Or look at that tulip over by the fence! What’s it doing here in this garden? It should be in the trash, it’s so ugly.”

Never! You would never hear that. But here are the humans, so big and mighty. Always looking out, not looking within.

It is time to stop judging what‘s ugly, what’s not. It's all subjective, anyway. It’s not for us to decide, to sit on that pedestal. You never know if you're going to be one of the ones that falls off. Let's get beyond that.

The package with which we are born is just that, a package. We must discover the gem hidden within it. That is where the true beauty lies. And no matter who it is, there is a gem waiting to be discovered, if only we took the time to do it

Beauty, after all, is only skin deep.

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