She Always Appears Radiant to Me

Deborah Kristina
4 min readApr 17, 2022
Unsplash — Ives Ives

I think about how sad it is that people have reduced a ‘good’ appearance to clear skin.

I think about this every day.

There are burn victims and acid attack victims out there.

I have always felt drawn to reading their stories.

I’ve come to like one Russian girl whose social media account I follow, for example. She suffered massive burns all over her body when she was 4 and she’s been promoting ‘body positive’ images on Instagram.

There is one woman at my workplace location who doesn’t have any hair on her head and I think she is the most beautiful woman there. When I see her, she always appears radiant to me.

When I was in Peru, I found a lot of the indigenous women to be so strong. They had rough faces, having gone through a lot. They were everywhere especially in Cusco. Yes, indigenous people have a distinct look (at least to us, I think…), but it’s not only how different they looked that made them look nice.

The beauty that I saw in their faces was what they possibly experienced in their lives.

Growing up, I attended the Boston Public Schools. From a young age, I’ve always lived in a multicultural environment. I have never thought of beauty as one standard.

When I was 10, I read an article about a 16-year-old girl who had Alopecia Areata and this meant that her hair fell out and when it grew back, it fell out again. She decided to shave her head completely. I loved that article. Former classmates thought that I was weird for not being shocked by that girl’s appearance.upon seeing what I was reading.

I thought that she looked fine.

I always wish for the best for people no matter what they look like.

Redness, discoloration, acne, moles, marks and scars are a reality.

Sagging skin is another reality.

I wish people didn’t feel so much pressure to look a certain way.

At the same time, I admit that I am vain too. I love looking at beautiful people, though, I may not be drawn to be their friends at all.

Honestly, I went out with some men whom it was painful for me to look at.

Deborah Kristina

Author of ‘A Girl All Alone Somewhere in the World’, ‘Confessions and Thoughts of a Girl in Turkey’, ‘From Just a Girl Grown Up in America’. (