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Journal Writing Project: Eric M. Leitzen


Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

What is wrong with us? How far will we stoop? It has often been thought that our society was governed solely by our outward physical appearance. Now it has been proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

During the Super Bowl, including the insanely long pregame, halftime, and post-game shows, a commercial came on for a new reality series. According to the commercial, the show is designed to find the “most attractive person in America.” This commercial, by its gratuitous flashing of washboard abs and arms the size of Cleveland, would have you believe that this show is judged merely on outward physical appearance.

The Human Race has hit a new low. We are no longer trying to distinguish ourselves from the animals, but rather embracing our animal tendencies. It no longer matters what the person knows or thinks about anyone or anything, it’s merely a question of outward physical appearance.

If only life had a mute button. Then we could just gaze at our “hot” selves without worrying about such trivial things as personality, conversation, or compassion. Gee whiz, sign me up. Forgive me if this column sounds belligerent, but after seeing that commercial, and coming to the realization that we really have gotten that shallow, I am nearly physically ill. We claim to be so far advanced above the apes, yet all it takes is a bikini and we’re grunting like a pack of Silverbacks.

Just take a look at television someday. Almost every show has some girl who’s “conventionally beautiful” strutting around in clothes probably purchased at a toddler’s store. As they say, sex sells. But is this truly right? Does this truly make good entertainment? Or is it such a barrage of smut that we become immunized to it in a short while and pay it no heed? Why is such trash allowed on primetime viewing, in full access to youth watchers? Are we training our children to grow up in a society where they will judge people only by how they look?

Later on, after seeing these “beautiful people” on television for years at a time, the children believe by sheer assimilation that they must look like these people, at all costs. Anorexia and Bulimia run rampant, all in a futile effort to be like “her” or like “him.” Self esteem plummets as these children, mere children, give their all to look like “them,” for no other reason than that is what they are told to be. Please people, before it’s too late and civilization crumbles. It's not a hard thing to do. Just look. See the person inside before you judge the one outside. Yes, it will take time in this flash-in-the-pan-I-want-my-Whopper-now society, but hey, good things are worth waiting for, right?

Forsake the makeup and the treadmill! Unless they make you happy, then by all means, do so. Don’t let what other people think you should look like dictate every facet of your life. Show the world that humans don't all have to fit this perfect image. People are the most beautiful when they are just that, people. Don’t try to look like something you’re not. Don’t try to look like what’s-her-name on MTV or who’s-her-face on Survivor. Be your own person, and I can guarantee you that you will be more beautiful (or handsome) than ever before. Individuality. Now that’s “hot” to me.

Eric Leitzen is a student at Mabel-Canton High School.

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