Issue 27 • September 2019

Humans of The Tavern

Who Defines Beauty

Interview by Ayleen Cameron

Photo by Zarah Peh

“In Hong Kong I have a more exotic look, if that makes sense. I'm very tall, my hair is brown, my eyes are brown, and my nose is quite high. People have treated me like I'm a halfie, like I'm half Western half Chinese, and they tend to sort of dumb me down: they won't speak to me in Cantonese, but I speak perfect Cantonese. And they just make assumptions about me being a different race when in reality I'm not. Family members have made me uncomfortable, because I want to go to medical school, I want to be a doctor, and they're like, “Oh, you shouldn't waste your like your body or your face on school, you should be a model, you should act.” But I don't know, I feel like that's not – I'm more than just my outer appearance. My mom always tells me: beauty doesn't last forever. Right now we're young and everyone looks great because we're teenagers, but in ten or twenty or thirty years, the person that you end up with is not because of what they look like, it’s because of the way that they treat you in the way that they treat others.

- Zara Peh, NMH

“There’s beauty in just living life for yourself, in finding little moments during a day and enjoying them or sharing a smile with someone. That’s the beauty you have to obtain, not something you’re born with or something that can be taken away from you. [As a senior] this year, my goal is to be beautiful in that sense. I want to leave a legacy that “yeah, she was a beautiful person, but not [just] because her face was pretty.” I want to be a person who lives life to the fullest, takes every fall with a smile and gets up gracefully, and in moments when I’m in front of the class, I want to speak with a smile and with warm, genuine feelings and emotions. When I make the goal to achieve that legacy, my legacy deepens because now I’m living a happy life, and therefore I’m able to do more and give more. I feel like when I look to inner beauty and forget the outer beauty, I’m able to do better things on this campus and leave a better legacy.”

-Nyla Sams, Milton Academy

Interview by Miriam Zuo

“When I was young, beauty was a checklist of things marked by peers– more checks, more beautiful. No one considered short and clumsy as qualified for the beauty checks. As I got older, I found beauty in people who empower themselves and others. I chose to love myself by completing my own list; I became optimistic and confident.  At Brooks, I decided to take part as a cultural ambassador and become an example for students as a mentor of the LGBTQ+ community and a person of color. It is challenging to be a minority of any kind. However, I believe, through empathy, we will learn, grow, support each other, and ultimately make Brooks become a better place where everyone feels welcome and beautiful. ”

- Mr. Kenneth Griffith, Brooks School

Interview by Clara Choi & Jayda Hayes

Photographer: Skyler Zheng

“Before coming here, beauty meant skinny, and young women conforming to society's views on how they should look. Coming here [Tabor] and seeing so many different kinds of people and the abundance of confidence that they have in themselves is already so different from back home [Japan]. Just looking at Instagram, it’s so easy to compare how proud all of my friends [from Tabor] are of themselves and their bodies, and on the other hand, how my friends back home are still very insecure about themselves and how they don’t like to show the parts that their very insecure about. I have my parents pressure about my body and when I met my friends they look at me in a different way because I gained weight. I like myself more than before coming to the states, I still have insecurities, but compared to freshman year my idea of beauty has really changed. I think I’m more beautiful than before.”

-  Nina Sasakawa, Tabor Academy

Interview by Madden & Lilly

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