Photograph free license by Steve Evans
A culture's concept of beauty is all about acceptance by the tribe. We all want to be told we are acceptable, and to belong.
When I was growing up I thought I must be adopted. All of my immediate family had dark brown /black hair and blue/grey eyes. I had red, later auburn hair and green eyes. No one ever said I was beautiful in that family, so I felt I didn't belong. I was very shy. I remember this was a phase. When I met my cousins, some had the same colouring as I.
I was looking at some top 10 teen hits the other day and I think this is a positive song for young people.
You are beautiful - One Direction
Christina Aguilera -You are beautiful
Joe Cocker-You are so beautiful
Interview with my daughter, who is in her mid teens:
Q. Do your friends think they are beautiful?
A. No. They all have issues and half of them think they're the worst.
Q. What do their friends say about that?
A. It's a circle. Half of us at any given time are downing ourselves and the other half are trying to get ourselves out of our mood, then it just spins around.
Q. What are they saying to cheer their friends up?
A. Well, we don't actually usually succeed in that, but we usually tell them the opposite of whatever they're going on about.
Q. What are they complaining about?
A. Everything, they hate pretty much everything about themselves half the time.
Q. What has made them be so hard on themselves?
A. Everyone's got a different story to that, and most of them don't say it.
Q. Why do you think they don't say why?
A. Half of them go to the school counsellor.
Q. Do you think music video clips are to blame?
A. No, they are not into mainstream.
Q. Are they hipsters?
A. No, (laughing).
Q. What are they looking at that makes them feel not beautiful?