By Karla Andrade
In high school, one of the biggest issues teens have is dealing with self-image and their concept of beauty. With messages from the media, their peers, and the thoughts teens have of themselves, in addition to being overwhelming can be downright anxiety-inducing.
One KU student in particular who has had a challenging year dealing with self-esteem imagined she wasn’t the only one dealing with those thoughts and insecurities. This notion encouraged the brave KU sophomore to create an awareness of how people view beauty and self-image. Her name? Saira Blevins.
Her overall purpose and message for this project for her peers and community to know that they are worthy and beautiful. “There is beauty in everything and everyone, it’s just a matter of perception”.
Just how did this project and idea come about? AVID and Social Studies teacher Jonathan Chenjeri presented his students with the option to participate in an assignment called Project Based Learning. “The project is meant for students to have the opportunity to engage, learn and apply knowledge to a certain project, task or idea.” Saira had the perfect opportunity to put her ideas into action.
Blevins who worked on this project for a solid four weeks, produced a six-minute YouTube video and created a school display answering the question “What is Beauty?” Both projects inspire others to think about Beauty more abstractly, challenging how beauty is typically perceived as.
When asked about Saira’s project, in particular, Chenjeri shared “Saira’s project was very unique in that she talked about philosophical and aesthetic concepts that impact people in their personal lives. She made a pretty incredible video and display that is still up at school, in hopes of opening up more self-reflection in others.”
When asked what she defined beauty to be, Saira expressed “Beauty is the power someone can hold in themselves.” This, referring to just how important self-worth and confidence play a role in how people carry within them throughout their life. “As of right now my perception of beauty isn’t really an image but more of the feeling I get when I am passionate about what I’m doing or when I’m with people I love.”
Beauty as a concept is subjective and can have many different interpretations. As this KU Sophomore artistically expressed through her bulletin board and video creations, Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder and it does not have one specific form.
KU is proud to have Saira open the door to discussing these emotional and delicate topics. To view Saira Blevin’s video “What is Beauty?”