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Beauty -- More than skin deep?

Look in the mirror. What do you see?

Look in the mirror. What do you see?

June 03, 2008|By HARLEY HARRISON/Pulse Correspondent

Teens are always worrying about what they look like, saying "I'm fat!" "My nose is crooked!" "My thighs are huge!" - focusing on things they can complain about.

Teens compare themselves to famous celebrities, although those celebrities might not look any better. To get their so-called perfect bodies, some celebrities have to go through plastic surgery with needles, scalpels, lasers, etc.

Celebrities think cosmetic surgery would make them become "sexy." There's Ashlee Simpson and her new nose, Pamela Anderson and her massive bust, and Michael Jackson and well his entire face. Teenagers admire these stars, so teens think they must get liposuction and a nose job to satisfy their desire to become what they believe is beautiful.

However, cosmetic surgery isn't always a good idea. And it's not always safe. Recently, an 18-year-old girl died during breast surgery. To me, this shows that plastic surgery is just not worth it.

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Be healthy; be yourself

Teens not only try to compare their appearance with celebrities, they also compare themselves to their peers. Some people are so worried about how they look that they can't even wear a bathing suit because they are afraid the skinny girls in the bikinis or the buff guys will criticize them.

Have you ever had that moment where you really want to eat but don't want to look fat? Well, eating is healthy, but throwing it up because you think you're fat is a disease. Not eating at all could even kill you.

People need to understand that they need to be themselves and enjoy who they are without worrying about weight or appearance.

After the research I did on teens obsessing over their appearance, I decided to ask 70 teens or young adults this question: "Do you like your appearance?" The poll results showed that 69 percent said "yes" and 31 percent said "no." So I guess not all teens obsess over it, but either way, all people should be satisfied with their incomparable appearance.

You are who you are; embrace yourself. Look in the mirror. What do you see? I see a unique human being.

Teens speak out

To continue my research, I interviewed two completely different people: Beverly Bunch, who is 18 and just graduated from Frederick High School in Frederick, Md., and David Lumpp, 14, from E. Russell Hicks Middle School in Hagerstown. Beverly answered "no" to my poll and David answered "yes." I asked them a few questions.

Has anyone insulted you for your appearance?

Beverly: Yes, my family does it all the time. When I was younger they called me "fatty." Now they comment on my style of clothing and my acne, but they are just goofing on me.

David: Yes, people made fun of my hair because it's long and in a ponytail, but they're just haters. People sometimes laugh at my eyebrow ring as well. I never took it out, because I like it.

Are you worried about how much you weigh?

Beverly: No, I'm pretty light, but I think I should weigh more.

David: No, I'm not worried about my weight. I try my best to keep myself in shape.

What do you think about celebrities changing the way they look?

Beverly: I think that if it makes them feel better or helps their career, go ahead. But if they abuse it and constantly go through surgery, they need to stop.

David: I think they need to lay back and chill because they'll never be happy with what they look like, even if they get a million dollars worth of surgery.

Have you ever thought about changing your appearance?

Beverly: I hate my acne, and I just really want it to go away.

David: Nope.

What do you think of teenagers worrying about what they look like?

Beverly: They need a chill pill because there are a lot of things that are more important to people's lives than appearance. If you hang around people who only care about the way you look, you really don't need them in your life.

David: I don't care. They can think what they want.

Finally, what do you think when you look in the mirror?

Beverly: Wow, I'm beautiful. I hope others can see me the way I do.

David: Hey, Sexy.

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