Once upon a time, there was a young, teenage girl who lived in a village. Like every other girl in that village, she was sweet, curious, gentle and sensitive and cheeky too!
And just like every other girl her age, she worried about her appearance. She didn’t feel pretty enough, or smart enough, or cool enough like other girls. She would always compare, and boy was she insecure! Insecure about her own self, her body. She was uncomfortable in her own skin, and she wished and wished that she was prettier.
One day, as she was walking at the village market, she came across an old man who was drawing portraits of the locals. Now, sellers like these are not uncommon in her village, and usually, she would just pass them by.
But that day was special.
That day, she decided to get her portrait drawn, just because instinct told her to.
She went to the old man and told him her request. He gently obliged and told her to sit on a chair, and he would indicate when he was done.
She sat and waited for what seemed like hours. Finally, the old man mentioned for her to come over, he was done.
She peered at the portrait and was startled! Why, the portrait looked lovely! It looked like her, but it was…. beautiful.
The old man looked at her and said “My dear, beauty comes from eyes that are gentle, a smile that is warm, lips that speak only of good things, and a face that looks at the world with hope and love.”
“Most of the time, we are so absorbed into other peoples looks and glamour that we forget to cultivate our own beauty, which is unique to only us, and can be brought out by only us. The realest, rarest, and most lasting beauty comes from inside of us, not outside.”
The girl smiled, thanked the old man, and promised herself that she would trust her instinct more often. She was at peace.