You are Beautiful

What one social experiment can do to a school


Morgan Barnes, Senior Writer

     In light of February and the holiday of Valentine’s Day, students are getting ready to share time with their loved ones and partners. To go along with February 14th, February 6th is Compliment Day. This made me think of a YouTube video I watched a while ago, “People react to being called beautiful” by Shea Glover. At the time of publication, she was a high school student in 2015 at a performing arts school in Chicago. She picked students at random and said a simple sentence along the lines of: “I am taking pictures of things I find beautiful” and recorded their reactions. Most students blushed or thanked her. Some were silent but cracked a smile and a small handful were defensive and didn’t know how to receive the compliment.
     I wanted to try this out myself. So my friends and I took to the hallways of South. For two days, the three of us went out complimenting anyone we could during school, mentally recording their reactions. One of my friends, Victoria Medl, recalled her experiences with going around the school, “Many were shocked and surprised and tried to reciprocate the compliment with a witty remark followed by the usual, ‘I can’t take compliments, sorry.’ Many kindly accepted.” Caroline Cinque, my second counterpart in this scavenger for compliments, recorded that “In general, a couple of people denied that whatever kind thing I said about them was even true. A lot of people just said thank you. And a couple of people gave me a compliment in return.” It seems like the general census is that teenagers don’t know how to take compliments. Just accept it! You’re beautiful!
     We should all incorporate aspects of Shea’s video. I challenge anyone, for even just a day, to compliment anyone you can. You do not have to know them. They could be someone you’ve noticed everyday on your way to lunch, but don’t really know. Find them and compliment something. Trust me, they will be grateful. So spread the love this Valentine’s Day to anyone: your partner, friend, family, or someone you don’t know. You will feel good too. We need love in our lives right now. In the world we live in, love’s what’s holding us together. Let’s make that bond stronger. All great ideas started small, right? School is the best place. School today, tomorrow the world.