Beauty beyond social norms

By DaNySha Hudson

Staff Writer


Junior Donavon Coleman says beauty has different aspects.

“Beauty to me is how you carry yourself, along with confidence and being yourself.” Coleman said.

To Coleman, social norms are unavoidable. Coleman thinks everyone wants to follow each other nowadays and that people don’t have parental guidance, so they watch television to get an idea of what’s the trend that’ll give them a pass to fitting in.

“Everyone just wants to be Instagram or Twitter famous. The upcoming generation don’t really get to value morals and being themselves,” Coleman said.

Coleman strives to encourage those who aren’t confident in themselves. Seeing insecure people around him causes him to want to spread the word on the importance of loving yourself.

“People say being conceited is a bad thing. I don’t think so because that’s a form of caring for yourself,” Coleman said.

Some good-looking people come with flaws that are more meaningful than looks, so Coleman prefers to glamorize uniqueness.

“Even if someone isn’t socially accepted as beautiful, if you show that you have confidence, then that overrules everything,” Coleman said.

Coleman has experienced people mistaking him for an overconfident person who doesn’t speak to others because he think he’s better than them. Coleman does not believe this is true and wants to set the record straight.

“People overlook things on me. No one wants to get to know me. They judge me off my appearance,” Coleman said, “but that’s a human instinct. It only take seven seconds for someone to get a first impression on you.”

Coleman wants everyone to know you should be comfortable with who you are in this world because it is constantly changing. It may be challenging, but with the help of your guardian, school staff members and most importantly, yourself, Coleman said, the change won’t affect you.

Senior Vanice Coulter doesn’t believe beauty should matter because beauty is temporary. Coulter believes in caring for others, putting in 100 percent for who you are and what you want to be, and laying out your values.

However, although a person may have the right idea of what should matter the most, there are still chances of falling victim to a social norm.

Coulter fell victim to wanting long hair because having long hair has recently been in style.

As a biracial student who has lived in places that weren’t so diverse, Coulter has faced questions and expectations.

“The black kids would ask why my hair is so curly, and the white kids would ask me why there are barrettes in my hair and why can’t I do my hair like their hair, ” Coulter said.

As years went by, she was convinced straight hair was the way to go. That caused damage to her natural, curly hair, which led her to use fake hair.

“I think now I have the idea in my head that I don’t look good without long hair, straight hair and Brazilian hair,” Coulter said.

Now, she’s learned to embrace the personal features that can’t change.

“Once you start to understand your flaws, love yourself, and [know] that looks don’t complete you, you’ll feel better,” Coulter said.

That’s how Coulter overcame her insecurities. Now she tries to motivate as many people as possible to understand looks are just something you’re born with.

“Your character is what defines you as a person, not your image,” she said.

Personality is key to Coulter.

Coulter wants students to know she’s an open book and will share her story if it helps another person from falling victim to social norms.

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Photo by Katie Meighen

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