What makes you beautiful? 

What makes you beautiful? 

Is it the way you speak or the way you smile at strangers? The way you look at the sunset or the way you observe the rain? How do you feel joy? Through the smile of a stranger or perhaps just holding the door for one. Maybe through the warmth of a hug or the comfort of your home? Perhaps you experience joy through the lyrics of a song and the way your heart dances through the beats. 

You are beautiful because you have the ability to feel. 

For the longest time, I was afraid to share and open my heart. I have always been drawn down to show my authenticity. The thing with holding back our sensation is that once we stop showing and expressing our true affection we start to lose that side of us. The side that makes us who we are. The unique side that enables us to sense the beauty, the ups, and downs of life. I never wanted to lose that part of me. 

It was the first day I was entering college and my first semester where I was surrounded by many individuals. I thought acting and behaving in their best interest would bring me closer to others in building relationships and making new friends. I often caught myself in between choosing to fight with my personal values and just agreeing with others. I would say I was at a point where I started to value other people’s voices more than my own. The problem with going along with others’ voices is that you bury the special gift of yours down to the ground. Once you realize how far you have buried it down, you start to realize why your heart is still not fulfilled. It was because I saw the value in appreciating others and that itself was not a problem. It was that I was trying to hide my own validity, that I feared no one would accept me if I showed otherwise. The truth is hiding that part of me was the reason I became distant from others. As I was starting to lessen my value, I was losing my self-worth and I never wanted to lose that. I wanted to keep my true self close to me. Once I was able to recognize that I felt confident in expressing how I felt and showing my emotions. I came to realize that was something that connected me with others: being my true self. All of a sudden, searching for validation, I was able to create a stronger relationship with myself. 

For the first time in my life, I have come to learn that my sensitivity and vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it is a representation of who I am. As I started to acknowledge my heartfelt response and spoke upon my true values, I became closer to my authentic self. I always thought sharing how I felt would hold me back or I would be disliked by others. However, I realized that if I could not be my true self and be open to share my feelings, I would be losing that side of me. I would be becoming a person that I am not. I know now that my emotions are true and instead of rejecting them, I am learning to acknowledge them. I am learning to accept my sentiment in believing that it is also a part of me that makes me unique and beautiful. 

I like to experience profoundness. Such as this piece by Najwa Zebian. It makes me think deeply when expressing myself. 

“Your sensitivity is not a sign of weakness. Your sensitivity makes you beautiful. It makes you different. It makes you unique. You see, we live in a world where it’s easier to pretend that you don’t feel, and if you dare express that you feel, you become an easy target to be picked on and hurt. So, from a young age, you’re taught that strength means hiding how you feel, or not expressing your feelings at all. I want you to ask yourself, if you don’t feel, how can you truly love? If you don’t feel, how can you empathize with the tragedies happening in the world? If you are sensitive to being disrespected, it means that you will not disrespect others because you know how it feels to be disrespected. If you are sensitive to being ignored or lied to, you will not ignore or lie to others because you know how it feels to be ignored and lied to. Promise yourself from today to be at peace with your sensitivity. Instead of trying to hide it, cherish it.” 

― Najwa Zebian

Being able to express my true self, I not only get to better understand myself as an individual but I also get to connect with my peers. I am better able to understand and resonate with others and their sensation. Being myself and being true to my emotions has allowed me to connect with others. As I spoke from my heart, many were able to connect with myself and resonate with my state of mind. 

My sensitivity is part of my story. It tells a story that no one else can because it comes from my heart. My vulnerability is not just amazing, it’s the embodiment of everything I’ve experienced. I often viewed my emotional self to be a weakness. I constantly found tears whether watching a beautiful scene or just writing in my journal. Sometimes I will just be watching others and thinking of that moment and how I will never be able to experience that ever again and it makes me sentimental. Due to the intensity of my emotions, I associated my sadness and my emotional side to be not one of my strengths. While our emotions are inevitable, I tried to find comfort with my tears. I tried to sit with it, instead of trying to diminish it. 

I realize now that my emotional side is what makes me distinct. It is what makes me have a kind heart and generosity towards others. It is one of my strengths because I can understand others on a deep level and because I can connect with others. I am able to build that understanding in a relationship in creating and resonating with each other’s soul. 

I love my sensitivity not only because it makes me laugh and love but also because it makes me live. My life is significant because I get to experience these different moments that I can truly feel. 

I am deeply connected with the world. For the pretty heart of mine that has the ability to love. To be able to express my soul is a place that holds me together. Whether experiencing joy, sadness, excitement, love, pride, gratitude, or hope, I like to express it freely.

I love the sense of watching the sunset while the sand plays with my feet. I love hearing the laughter of children. I enjoy the sunshine on my skin. I admire the drops of rain.  I like the comfort of making someone smile. I enjoy watching emotional movies because it makes me deeply connected with the characters by putting myself in their shoes. 

I am learning to cherish myself by emoting to myself. 

It took courage for me to share my heart and I think that should be celebrated. Being vulnerable is important to me in everything that I create because it ensures that I am sharing my sincere self and staying true to my vision. 

I can sense all there is to observe around me and I will continue to cherish it. I challenge you to try expressing how you emote. There is a beauty in expressing your core essences. Once you try to acknowledge your genuineness, you wouldn’t want to hide it. 

In the end, I know I have a beautiful ability to be able to share my heart and my feelings are a beautiful part of me. If you ever meet me, don’t ask me how the sunset was or how the food tasted. Instead, ask me how I felt while watching the sunset. Ask me how I felt while eating the first bit of fresh lychee. Ask me how the lyrics made me feel. 

Ask me what makes me feel beautiful. 



  • Riya Patel

    Riya Patel is a Writing Intern at Latinitas Magazine for the Summer 2023. As a first generation American, she saw the value in overcoming challenges and her ability to adapt to new environments. Today, her perseverance has led her to the University of Texas where she can connect with a diverse community as she learns about the intersectionality between psychology and business. Being a strong communicator, she has always enjoyed human connection as a means to grow personally and professionally. People’s stories make an impact and move the world forward. She loves sharing her story. She enjoys the art of storytelling through art, media and creativity that is empowering and inspiring. She hopes you can find warmth in her writings. Being able to share her heart in her writing is important to her in everything that she creates because it ensures that she is sharing her authentic self and staying true to her vision.

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