Why Mention Beauty?


I am writing to state my shock and disappointment at the article about this year’s valedictorians entitled “Beauty and Brains—You Go, Girls!” in the June 22-28 issue. It is a pleasure to see these very accomplished bright young women and celebrate their achievements. I was shocked to see the title, which I found disturbing. There was no need to diminish their accomplishments by adding that they are also beautiful.

While they certainly are beautiful young women, wouldn’t it have been “enough” to celebrate their academic achievements as valedictorians?

Women have long been objectified and diminished by having their worth tied to their physical attributes and, in 2016, I had assumed that we were beyond this. Wouldn’t it be ludicrous to celebrate Dr. Female for doing the first successful brain transplant and then add how attractive her legs were? Or report that Astronaut Female was the first to command a mission to Mars and also that she has such a cute nose?

It is important for girls and young women to grow up being proud of who they are, what they have accomplished and take pride in their achievements, independent of how attractive society thinks they are.

Kudos to the valedictorians and salutatorians, and congratulations to the entire graduating class of 2016.

—Terri Levin

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