There is something I need to tell the readers of this blog…and those in the middle of the great unknown. I don’t want to seem uncool, not with it, not down, or however else younger adults describe themselves as being engaged. We are all guilty of staying up late relaxing with our tablet on Twitter or Instagram looking at the pictures of your girl or guy friends and giving your friends their props. Let me try to flip the script though and take your selfie for a second.
Let’s take a picture of this girl. A girl whose picture was chosen at random by the search words ‘average American selfie in ½ a second. She looks by almost all standards, beautiful; young; bright; perky; cheerful; and outgoing. I assure you brothers and sisters there is so much more to her picture than meets the eye.
It is a little known secret that I love women. I don’t mean in an erotic way, but in the way someone or something is to be admired. It makes me sad sometimes to hear people comment in real life and online that I am superficial or misogynistic. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I say women are beautiful it is not for superficial means but rites of admiration. For me this ‘all American girl’ could be the star of her school’s math team; with the athleticism of a gymnast; and the ear of a musician. She carries with her bits and pieces of generations crafted over time to be the joy of her smile and the light in her eyes. But I can’t say for certain because I don’t know her. I picked her at random. Rest assured girls who could be seen as ‘exotic’ for you are not a snake, handbag, food or beverage. Rather you may posses a rare and unique combination of physical characteristics and personality traits rarely seen by people unfamiliar with your cultures or hemispheres. All people can be beautiful. The most beautiful, magnetic people are the ones most unique. To me, my friend Dawn is beautiful because she has both the ability to learn new things, and the ability to apply what she knows to new situations with massive speed. She is funny and friendly too. The best part is: If you needed her to she would fight beside you to the death. How beautiful is that.
There is little difference for young men in the same regard as women. The stereotypes of what defines a man are changing too. There is considerable pressure for young men to appear athletic like DeWayne Johnson (or slightly smaller), think like an Ivy League graduate, have a sexy charisma that can only be described as ‘It.’ In reality, this young man could be an amazing nurse, writer, teacher, or musician. We may never know
So if I motivate you to try something knew—it might be to see beyond the surface. Aspire so be greater than your previous self. When you say to yourself I would rather not eat for a week than go without my phone—perhaps you can go further than a text, and say ‘Hello.’ If you find yourself needing a role model to create your next selfie of life look toward Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Laureate, or Niel deGrasse Tyson, a champion of the sciences and the Scientific Method.
Above all else: Be the best, first you.