Letter to the Editor: Beauty is transitory

Nothing breeds insecurity quite like selfishness.

When any person, regardless of age or gender, has too much time to think solely of themselves, they’re prone to nitpick at every flaw they find — no matter how big, small or imagined.

This breed of narcissism has only grown with the explosion of social media sites that allow people to become the center of their own online universe. The trend — as mentioned in Eleanor Hasken’s Oct. 24 column headlined, “Pretty or ugly, abuse and respect both begin inside us” — is showing up in frighteningly young age brackets.

While bullying is a major problem in today’s society, the “am I pretty or ugly?” phenomenon leaves me wondering why these people are so self-centered in the first place.

Who cares?

Why are children as young as 9 so self-absorbed that they need to post pictures of themselves as monuments to their beauty?

Why aren’t children cultivating hobbies and interests, or exploring the world around them?

Why don’t they have anything better to do than dwell on what others think of something as fleeting as physical appearance?

The same goes for adults. While everyone feels the pressures of maintaining a certain standard of (unattainable) beauty every once in a while, it can only bother a person as much as they let it.

If everyone focused more on serving others, the likelihood that they’d have time to worry about their physical appearance would be slim.

Some of the most beautiful people I know are so not because of how they look, but because of how they are.

They are caring, kind, patient and selfless. They have crooked smiles, messy hair, thick calves and warm eyes. Beauty is transitory, but a lifestyle of selflessness lasts.

Instead of worrying about what strangers on the Internet think of outward appearance, children should be learning to cultivate themselves as interesting, intelligent, compassionate people, and we should be setting the example, whether we’re “pretty” or not.