You're Beautiful

Last night, I was privileged to be a judge for a local scholarship program; one that feeds into the Miss America Scholarship Program network.It's a role I've performed before, and I was reminded why it's important by the 17-year-old winner.The young woman is a dancer. When it was her turn to perform her talent, she strode into the spotlight wearing a gorgeous turquoise dance costume, and holding a piece of paper in her steady hands.She acknowledged that she loves dancing, and had planned a dance for her talent, and then changed her mind at the last moment. Instead, she had something to say to the women in the audience.She asked us to raise our hands if we'd ever been called a name other than "beautiful."Almost all but the little girls raised their hands.She asked us to raise our hands if we'd ever compared ourselves to other women, and found ourselves lacking.Almost all but the little girls raised their hands.She asked us to raise our hands if we'd ever stopped ourselves about to leave the house because we realized we didn't have our makeup on and our hair done just so.Almost all but the little girls raised their hands.She told us that we are beautiful, just as we are, without anyone else's say-so, and without all the product, and in spite of the media's impossibly-perfect pitch of what beautiful supposedly looks like.

You are beautiful. You don't need anyone else's stamp of approval.I am beautiful. I don't need anyone else's stamp of approval.We are beautiful. We don't need anyone else's stamp of approval.Last night, a passionate 17-year-old inspired an auditorium of people - mostly women - with a mature-beyond-her-years speech.There's reason to believe the future is bright. And beautiful.

Crossing Over

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