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"You define beauty for yourself, society doesn't. Your spirit and faith defines your beauty." - Unknown

I came across this quote yesterday when I was trying to think of an idea for this week's column, and it got me to thinking. I have three best friends: Jasmine, Taylor and Heidi, and they're all very unique, independent people. They're different, and they like to express themselves in ways that others might find strange. 

For example, Taylor loves dying her hair. She's had it every color from turquoise to blonde to hot pink. Heidi currently has bright purple/blue hair, along with a nose piercing, a Monroe piercing, and a tattoo (even though you can't see it — it's behind her ear). 

When the four of us go places, needless to say, we get many stares. Some people, such as my parents, think that hair colors like that are weird and faces aren't made for piercing. But I've seen more people give those girls compliments on their hair than anyone else. We can't go to the mall without someone exclaiming, "I love your hair!" to one of us. 

Just because it isn't what you're used to, doesn't mean it's wrong, or looks bad. Some people have a hard time realizing that their opinion is not always the right one--but that's a whole other discussion.

This idea doesn't just apply to my friends and me, however. Society has its own definition of beauty, and it's unrealistic and unfair to girls all across the world. Girls, especially teenage girls, have so much pressure to be thin and beautiful, just like the women in magazines and on runways.  

Society's definition of beauty is giving girls an impossible goal to reach. Everyone has beauty, even if it doesn't fit someone else's definition. My friends have so much confidence in themselves; how many of you would walk around with hot pink hair and feel no shame? 

I think they look awesome, no matter what their hair color is or if they have facial piercings. Jasmine has been my best friend for almost six years, and she's always been there for me, no matter what. Heidi is one of the sweetest people I know, and Taylor is so creative and inspirational. They're all truly great, beautiful people, and nobody can tell them otherwise. And that goes for everyone else out there: you are beautiful, even if you don't realize it now.

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