Superficial Scrutiny


Mark Formella (10) stands for a picture. After being called handsome by his photographer, Formella shrunk backward into a humble position.

Shannon Hearne

Most students develop a unique relationship and perception of beauty that become tumultuous throughout their adolescence. On days when an individual doesn’t feel beautiful, or what society deems ‘attractive’, they can be filled with emotions such as self-loathing and depression. To show the impact of a single compliment, various students were photographed before and after being told that they were beautiful. Their reactions were phenomenal.

“It raises my self-esteem and makes me feel good about myself [when people call me beautiful]. I think women have always been held to the standard where they need to feel where they are beautiful. That is always a top priority for women, beauty instead of brains. It shouldn’t be like that. Even the fact that I had to say prior to you taking my picture, ‘Oh, no, I don’t have makeup on’ is pretty bad,” Samantha Marino (12) said.

Popular reactions ranged from big smiles to a sudden blush appearing on their cheeks.

“I smile and say ‘thanks’ [when people give me compliments]. [For me,] personality is everything, but, [in terms of physical beauty], if a girl catches your eyes, you should go more in depth [to know her],” Mark Formella (10) said.

For some students, receiving the compliment was even able to alter their attitude.

“It feels good and makes my day better [when people compliment me]. I think beauty is being comfortable with yourself,” Ryan Bronecke (10) said.