The other day, I found myself sitting on my college campus, enjoying the afternoon sun. The weather was great—70 degrees and that in and of itself was a cause for celebration. Spring has been playing peek-a-boo all season in New York, and finally the sun managed to smack some sense to it, and woke that lazy season up.
So of course this generous seasonal display brought on the all expected flip-flops, sandals (my pretty little toes got to say hello too), cut-off shorts, mid-drifts, boom-boom shorts, and some interesting twists on fashionable apparel. This inspired me to indulge in my long-favored past-time—people watching. At first, it was to observe the various fashion styles, because although my appearance doesn’t completely give this away, I am privately a fashion diva. This has become more acute since I relocated out of NYC—however when I think back on this, this fact was always with me, because in my writing, my stories usually contain a character known to be a fashionista. My eye for fashion was well-fed, as I saw a variety of distinctive styles, colors and just unique displays of individuality. But what began to strike me—what actually overwhelmed me—was just the startling amount of beauty surrounding me.
Now you may be asking what the hell campus am I on, and how can you get there. Well I can assure you, I am not situated on some unique location of perfectly bred humans. In fact—any notions of perfection should immediately be discarded. No, what struck me was the beauty of distinction—the beauty of diversity—and the collective beauty that resides in each person’s individuality.
I saw Black beauty, White beauty, Latino/a beauty, Asian beauty—all manners of diversification possible, wrapped in their own unique style. I saw people that fit and did not fit the traditional standardization of beauty—but in my eyes all were glorious. Because when you look at each individually and collectively—what you get is the overall beauty of humanity. That so much beauty could be floating all around us and we can’t see it, is perhaps one of the saddest elements of life.
Now I’m not going to go on this neo-hippie rant on how we should all be making love not war (although that wouldn’t be a bad idea), but what I will say is that instead of indulging in mainstream media’s fabrication of shallow beauty, you should—if time permit—stop for a moment, and take a real look around you. You might discover that just like love, beauty is all around us as well.