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Ciao 06-07-2010 03:10 PM

13 Ways of Looking at Beauty
Fall '03 Junior Speech
delivered by Melissa Holtz '05


Do I look okay? I'm so fat.
Did you see what she was wearing? I look terrible.

It was a sleepover party full of sixth grade girls.
Tricia said, "Why don't we do our hair and nails?"
Brittany said, "Yeah! That's a great idea!"
Jenny started braiding Dana's hair.
Tara said, "We're going to be so beautiful."
Alana said, "I wanna look like Posh Spice! She's my idol."

Tricia and I were talking. All of a sudden she said to me: "My god, Melissa... you're so loud!"

So there I was- in the middle of Tricia, Jenny, Dana, Alana, and Tara- wondering why being loud was such a big deal. Is loudness not a girly trait? That night we were trying to beautify ourselves according to what we thought beauty was. And to this day I wonder what beauty means for girls.

Is beauty the makeup, the clothes, the bodies...? Is beauty not being loud?

Be better at casual
Dos and don'ts of the mini: how short should you go?
Beat under eye bags
Be a social worrior
Red lips are right now
Finding your inner supermodel
Be a sleeping beauty
Survive high heel ****
Cardinal rules of clevage
Trend of the month
Girl of the moment

At CSG, I saw Mavis Leno, the United States' most outspoken critic of the Taliban's horrific treatment of women, speak about her efforts to make the restoration of women's rights a nonnegotiable element of a post-Taliban Afghanistan.
It surprised me that a women with so much power and intelligence wasn't stick-thin and wearing a business suit.
Why should that thought even occur to me?

My mom says I have a funny laugh. She says that I should change it. She wants me to have a girly laugh. I laugh like a hyena- a loud hyena.

That girl is: big, a little wide around the middle, husky, portly, round, gordo, wider than she is tall, beefy, zaftig, corpulent, weight, rotund, blimp, heavyset, lard, obese, tall from side to side, fatty, fledhy, potbellied, thunder thighs, you can land an airplane on that behind, pudgy, porky, blubbery, flabby, stout, wide.

Is big really considered beautiful for a female?
There are so many words for fat and so few for beautiful.

For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by the fashion idustry. Fashion is about the fantasy, the possibility of the dream. As Ralph Lauren once said, "I don't design clothes. I design dreams."
But what's the cost when the discrepancy between fantasy and reality is too big?

$45 billion per year is spent on cosmetics.
$50 billion is spent on dieting.

2 out of 3 high school girls diet to lose weight.
1 in 5 takes diet pills.

50% of women wear a size 14 or larger.
Most clothing stores carter a size 14 or smaller.

The average US model is 5'11'' and weighs 117 pounds.
The average US women is 5'4'' and weighs 140 pounds.

Of the 105 million dollars earned by teen girls last year, 103 million dollars were spent.
And I'm pretty sure all that money wasn't used to buy lap equipment.

The makeup company Clinique's ad campaign tells us: BE HAPPY!
Of course it also tells us we will be happy by covering up our laugh line, which we get from being happy.

In the 190s, Emily Post, etiquette expert, said, "Cleverness is of no account; some of the greatest belles ever known have been stupid as sheep, but they have had happy dispositions and charming un-self conscious manners. Never walk across a ballroom swinging your arms. Never hang on anyone for support. Never put your hand on a man. Don't stand or walk with your chest held in and your hips forward."
"And remember," she said, "be seen and not heard. Being loud is inexcusable at all times."

I walk loud. I sleep loud. I take loud showers. I eat loud food. I think loud. I dream loud.
I live out loud.

Marilyn Monroe. Grace Kelly. Helen of Troy. Audrey Hepburn. Demi Moore. Britney Spears. Brook Shields. Cleopatra. Jackie Kennedy.
They whispered.

Maya Angelou. Queen Latifah. Rosa Parks. Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Amelia Earhart.
Billie Jean King. Wilma Mankiller. Golda Meir. Helen Keller. Harriet Tubman. Modonna. Frida Kahlo.
They were loud.

Beauty is in your sweaty hair slicked back after you've won a race.
Beauty is in the bags under your eyes when you stayed up doing a paper you finally got right.
Beauty is on a junior's face when he's done giving his speech.
Beauty is a loud laugh that's really sincere.

Beauty is... you fill in the blank.

So what is beauty?

Look around you.

Thank you.

BerkshireGrl 06-07-2010 09:27 PM

Thank you for posting this! Is it by you? :)

I especially loved this:
Maya Angelou. Queen Latifah. Rosa Parks. Marie Curie. Eleanor Roosevelt. Amelia Earhart. Billie Jean King. Wilma Mankiller. Golda Meir. Helen Keller. Harriet Tubman. Madonna. Frida Kahlo.
They were loud.

Ciao 06-08-2010 12:28 AM

No. :)

It was a speech delivered by a Junior.

chickybird 06-08-2010 12:31 AM

Thank you--I love this!

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