Sarina Schwartz

A Brief Lesson in Beauty

When I was younger, I asked myself "why am I not beautiful?" It matters not how much younger I was; It could be years, months, minutes younger than I stand before you now. But when I was younger, I did not see my own beauty. I did not see my own worth.

I believed that I could not decide my beauty for myself. I waited and I waited and I waited for a boy to tell me I was beautiful. That, I believed, was how to become what I most wanted to be. I waited for those whispered words in the backseat of a car, walking along at school, sitting on a bench in a park. “You’re beautiful,” and then I was.

But when the boys left, what was I then? Was I still beautiful? I thought not. My worth came and went as the boys came and went. My beauty was not my own. My worth was not my own.

        Now I am minutes, months, years older and wiser. The question I ask myself now is “what is beauty?”

I have now decided that my beauty comes from within myself and not from without. It comes from my determination, my passion, my work.

        It comes from the music that I make, the words that I write, the good deeds that I do, the smiles that I draw from those who surround me. It comes from my friendships, my family. It comes from being strong on my own.

I do not need a boy to tell me I am beautiful. I have decided for myself.


 About the author: Sarina Schwartz, age 17, was born and raised in South Florida, where she has attended NSU University School. She has published in her high school's Literary Magazine, of which she is Editor in Chief. She has won awards in the regional division of Scholastic Arts and Writing, as well as Broward County's short story competition, "A Novel Day for Students." In the fall of 2018, she will attend Bard College Conservatory, where she will study Musical Performance and Literature.