About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Posted February 22, 2012 by
    Alameda, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What does beauty mean to you?

    More from TheChaiLady

    Pretty is achieved, Beauty is innate

    The only thing I ever felt insecure about was my height. At 5'2, I tiptoed every time I had to face the challenge of reaching my goods from the top shelf.

    Being raised in America, my idea of physical beauty was whatever I saw in the media.

    My insecurities increased when cousins who were raised in Afghanistan moved to the states.

    They bluntly said "Why don't you try to be prettier?"

    Confused, I wasn't sure what they meant. In most cultures, the lighter skin was what was desired and I, sporting my California tan was on the opposite end of the spectrum.

    She told me tips to lighten my skin and how to avoid the sun. I mentioned this to my mother and even she said these ideals were outdated and my cousins had no idea what they were talking about.

    Over the years I became insecure about my "dark" skin, being a bit curvier than my cousins, and being on the shorter side.

    American culture embraced these flaws they saw and over time, I became more comfortable in my own skin.

    I love my curves. I love my legs more than anything --- even if they're short.

    It's easy to appreciate beauty in others: have an open mind.

    When you ignore judgement and stereotypes, you have beauty: the real kind.

    Physical beauty can be achieved through thousands of way (and thousands of dollars).

    I think a person is beautiful when they are passionate.

    About anything --- really.

    Passionate about saving the planet?
    Passionate about women's rights?
    Passionate about Angry Birds? (ugh --- me too)

    As long as you have passion then beauty will simply shine through.

    But not everybody is trained to recognize beauty right away.

    Physical beauty fades but character, inner passion shines forever.

    "The perception of beauty is a moral test."
    Henry David Thoreau

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