A Place Where No One Can Judge By Rebecca Bonder Age 16

The painting we know as the Mona Lisa is a famous piece of art, considered beautiful in many ways, yet some people debate upon the real beauty that is the Mona Lisa. Art is a passion of mine and I truly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When Leonardo DaVinci painted her, he did not do it for anyone in particular, he painted her for his own pleasure and for himself. I have taken that into consideration and now apply that in my own life. Many painters go through struggles during their career, doubting their ability. Likewise, I have endured my fair share of struggles, doubting myself and who I am.

Although I am only 16, I have had many doubts about my life, one being the way I look. Like many girls at my age, as well as boys, I have struggled with my weight and accepting the way I look. This struggle had taken up much of my life and had become a HUGE insecurity for me. I would always worry about what I would wear, how I would look as well as how other people would think I looked. As a little girl I was teased by my peers and called names. I would often come home crying about something that someone had said that day. I tried to hide how I felt because I hated seeing how upset my being unhappy made my parents. I went through life worried about what people thought about me, hiding my secrets and insecurities. As I got older, the pressure grew to look like the people did on TV and in magazines. I began feeling worse and worse about myself.

Fortunately, I also began to find myself in art. When I was in 6th grade I became very involved in piano lessons and art classes in school. My art teacher as well as my piano instructor had a significant impact on my life. They showed me how to be myself and how to express who I am. Art is a way for me to be myself where no one can judge me. At this time in my life, my best friend had begun to change and verbally abuse me. I had entrusted her with all my secrets and insecurities and she used them against me beating my spirit down. It took two years of self-loathing and fighting to realize that I wasn’t deserving of this type of treatment. I separated myself from her and my life improved, for a while. Although I was no longer being treated as if I didn’t matter I felt I was losing myself. I looked to music and art for support and guidance, and I found certain songs that gave me hope. I had been doing very well until something, I’m not sure what, happened.

All of a sudden I became very depressed and felt an intense loneliness. I felt like the people at school didn’t want me around and I began to think that I didn’t want to be around anymore. The thoughts that were inside my head were unbearable, I even experimented with self-harm. It is something no one should do and is one of the worst things I have ever done to myself. The only thing that got me through this difficult time was my family and my friends. Their love and compassion encouraged me to continue on and get through the difficult time. I have switched schools and am much happier now.

Ultimately, I have learned that the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter. I will never be the model that you see in the magazines, but I am beautiful and confident and I love myself.  These days poetry is a way for me to express myself and I’d like to conclude with one of my original pieces.

“People” can be mean

They can put you down

But they don’t matter at all

Family and friends are not “people”

They are far more

They will support and lift you up

Or laugh with you on the floor


One Response to “A Place Where No One Can Judge By Rebecca Bonder Age 16”

  1. Sandra CharlapDecember 21, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I am so impressed with your courage and honesty here and in the rest of your life. You are a really talented artist and creative thinker. I hope you’re doing well and are happier at your new school. I miss seeing your awesome self at school( though I’m not there anymore either!)
    Come visit anytime!!!!!

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