By Riley Ball, age 14, grade 8, Missouri.
Maybe I don’t look like a model. Maybe I’m taller than a lot of girls. Maybe I don’t wear makeup, but I am still beautiful. I know I acquire pimples and blemishes, but does that not make me myself? When I smile and laugh, do I not look healthy and happy? When my eyes sparkle, after I laugh, does my face not show its natural beauty? Why do looks have to matter, anyway? Is what’s inside of you not special? Are looks more important than kindness? Have we dropped so low that we no longer care how God looks at us? Why care what people think of me? This is my life. Am I expected to live my life on Other’s opinions? God created us in his likeness and image. If God thinks I’m beautiful inside and out, then why care about what our society thinks? Before we humans jump to conclusions that we are not beautiful, maybe we should look in the mirror and examine ourselves. Because sometimes what we find is beautiful— we surely need to look beneath the surface.
Riley adds: “I wrote this poem to help myself get through the struggles every teenage girl goes through. I have always looked at myself in the mirror and never really liked how I looked. This poem was to help other struggling young women and men get over some of the hard times in their lives.”