“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
After thinking about this quote for a while, I came up with several different interpretations. I thought about not judging a book by it’s cover and about the balance between your head and your heart; but for some reason, my mind keeps coming back to how this applies to society’s perception of beauty. About how society has a certain image that they claim beautiful, and anyone who differs from that image is no longer considered beautiful. When I think about this quote, I think it conveys a message about beauty. About how beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that it lies deeper than just at the surface.
I’m a girl growing up in a society where there are very specific beauty standards. I was born and have lived almost all of my life in America. Although society and media do a whole lot to encourage different body types and skin colors, that didn’t change the fact that I was the only Indian girl in my whole grade. I was never ashamed of being Indian, I just never felt like I was as pretty as my peers. I always had friends and was treated nicely, but I couldn’t help but notice that all the “pretty” girls mostly just looked the same; fair and skinny. All of my classmates liked them and these kids were appreciated in a way, just because they were “pretty”. How come the smart people weren’t appreciated the way the pretty ones were? How come the kind people weren’t? How about the people who were supposedly “not pretty”?
I believe real beauty comes from within. To me, what really matters is a person’s character. What good is being “pretty” if you are rude or insensitive? And why are only certain people considered pretty? Why can’t everyone be considered beautiful in their own way? I strongly believe that every single creation in this universe (whether it be a person, an animal, or even just a twig) is beautiful in its own marvellous, individual way. You just need to have the heart to see it.
I also wrote a poem about this topic that is my interpretation of the quote!
Just a girl.
An ordinary girl.
Everyone thought she was
And so did she.
someone else came along.
Someone with a brilliant mind full of happiness
and a heart brimming with compassion.
Someone who saw
that this girl,
was maybe not so average
They saw how when the girl laughed,
her eyes looked as though they were dancing on sunshine.
Her skin creased and glowed,
as if happiness
was the only thing she knew.
when she cried,
flowing from her glistening eyes,
spilling down her soft skin,
coming faster and faster until her silent tears,
were not silent anymore.
through all her despair,
a painful, enchanting beauty
When she was mad,
her eyebrows would scrunch together,
her face turn the slightest of red,
and the rage
the strength that she possessed
all showed in her determined, furious eyes.
No matter what was happening,
this person saw beauty in the girl.