Student Captures What Happens When People Are Told They Are Beautiful
How would you react if someone told you that you’re beautiful? 18-year-old Shea Glover, a highschool student from Chicago, conducted a social experiment to find out. She posed people in front of her camera and then told them “I’m taking pictures of things I find beautiful.”
The responses are touching. “I conducted an independent project which evidently turned into a social experiment regarding beauty,” Glover writes on YouTube. “I want to clarify that my intentions were not to get a reaction out of people. I was simply filming beauty and this is the result.”
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I'm 73 years old. From my vantage point all of these faces are very beautiful. They are of young people, full of life. Please enjoy your young beauty. When you are older you will find photos of yourself in your twenties and thirties and you will see for the first time how beautiful you were. Maybe no one told you then and you did not know. Maybe your sister was the beautiful one, or an actress or actor, or someone "popular" in your school. Don't fall for that. You will regret it later, when you are not as beautiful (but still active and presentable :-) ) and you wish you had known
Mary - You are still beautiful and full of life! Age is beauty. The oldest trees...beautiful. The well worn rocks and ancient monoliths on beaches...beautiful. Age has no bearing on beauty. But your statement is also beautiful. Have a lovely day!
I am 63, and I had the same reaction. They are every one so so beautiful. And everyone - even perhaps our older selves - are always more beautiful when we believe we are seen, and appreciated as our best self.
You are beautiful, Cindy.
You are also so beautiful, Cindy!
I dont know you, but you are awesome. And you are beautiful.
Mary, you're not old! You are living your second teenage! full of life, beauty and joy!
Miss... may I send you a virtual hug? You just about made me cry in school! -(;w;)- This comment and entire post is a great testament to true beauty, and I thank you for your kind words.
You are very welcome. Remember, seven hugs a day are required. :-)
Mary, I'm 51 and I've thought the exact same thing so many times. I wish I'd known, in my 20s and 30s, how pretty I actually was. Time really does go by SO fast. What I wouldn't give to be able to go back and tell my 20 yr old self "you're beautiful"...and to actually believe it!
Totally agree, Mary. I am 51 years old, and though I never called anyone ugly, I regret ever envelope thinking it. And I regret how thinking of someone as ugly might have affected the way I'd related to them, or ignored them. Now, I am astounded at how beautiful all people are, and I'm ashamed it took me so long to see it! Great project!
But Mary, and all women here stating they feel the same way, with this kind of attitude, we will be in a constant state of looking back at what we had and wishing we had appreciated it more, instead of appreciating what we have now. You have so much now, still. My mother is 52, and she has always been beautiful to me, a constantly changing beauty that comes with age. Beauty is not limited in youth. However, I do get the message of what your saying. Us younger folks need to learn to appreciate what we have now!
may I copy and paste you comment on to my fb page please? It is such a profound thing to say and even I at 52 know the value of your wise words. I see photos of myself; younger, slimmer versions of myself and know I had nothing to worry about and so with that in mind try to enjoy what I still have now (not looking too bad, overweight and menopausal but still attractive) but is is a struggle in this image obsessed world to always feel it. I work with young people and do my best to be positvie about my image, not be hung up on it but as an ex anorexic with low self esteem I have to have more of an 'I don't care' attitude to convince myself but I know deep down it is true .. beauty is really only skin deep, true beauty is more obscure than a face cream, make up etc... I try to teach them about life as in our world and the beauty that is out there, that being a kind person is what really makes the world a better place not the next selfie....
Dont fall for it now either. You are beautiful now too Mary! You didnt see it back then, see it now! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. dont fall for what society says.You didnt see it then for many reasons and now you dont for a new reason. See your beauty now.
I was just saying this the other night. My son took a picture of me for his photography class and all I saw were wrinkles and I thought, omg, I can never go back to the way I was. Then I said "I wish I would have appreciated and enjoyed my beauty when I had it"! My kids just looked at me, lol
I guarantee your children think you are beautiful. My mom always puts herself down about her body and every single time I look at her I see nothing but beauty. Her beautiful silver hairs that she constantly dyes (which I for some reason cannot wait to have grow on me), her ageing jowls that I can't see at all (and I think she's making it up) whatever weight she has gained (I can't see either) because I am blinded by how beautiful she is. Don't pay attention to your physical "faults" embrace them. You are ageing (just as everyone does), yet you are ageing gracefully. Every single part of you is beautiful ma'am. Don't ever forget that. And don't think that your physical "faults" are what your children see. They know how beautiful you are. :)
Explaining beauty is being beautiful. Your little article is as beautiful as the video above...thank you for this.
The world needs more Marys.
You rock mary
But Mary, you are beautiful.. Maybe not as much as you were, but I still see a beautiful person
I think you're a perpetual beauty...
Mary, thanks for your words, your are still and forever beauty full in and from your heart. Have a joy full day!
Mary, you made me cry! Thank you fot your beautiful words!
You are beautiful, Mary.
Beautifully said, Mary. You are beautiful. Cheers...
Love your kind and beautiful words, Mary!
You are beautiful, Mary!
Thank you so much Mary, I needed to hear that. You are truely beautiful inside and out
Mary you are spot on...I am 55 and didn't understand the real concept of beauty until I got older. Our media promotes beauty in it's own twisted way. Beauty is expressing authentic words and feelings to yourself or others in order to promote a positive self image. Beauty is kindness and respect in yourself and others. Mary when you feel beautiful you can share beauty with others. Have a beautiful day :)
"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine." http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-schmich-sunscreen-column-column.html
I totally thought the same thing, Mary! They are all so young and beautiful and full of promise! Yes, we are beautiful as our "older" selves, but we never appreciate what we have, when we have it. I don't have many regrets in my life cause I don't believe it's productive to live with regrets, but I do wish I had "appreciated" my youthful beauty when I had it!
lovely. I am 61 and have know this is true for awhile.
Mary you are beautiful!!! You were beautiful then you are beautiful now. The difference, your beauty has evolved. :)
You are also beautiful, and clearly have a beautiful soul since you took the time to remind us all that we are :) Thanks, Mary. What a remarkable lady you are.
Mary, I am still 26, but I thought the same thing. Of course, my experience is nowhere near as yours, but I clearly feel how older I am getting and how cute the adolescents and first year univ. students are to me. They're like little sparrows jumping and flying around. But I find that feeling of mine beautiful too. The very fact that it makes me smile, shows to me that I've found one more of the simple little things to appreciate in this world.
I wonder how they told that redhead while keeping a straight face. I can't even do that one.
made me cry seeing most of them smile and made me cry to see the sadness in some of others' eyes. you can tell they were maybe never told that.
exactly. society these days makes so many people feel guarded, unless they are extremely conformist and look like how the mainstream portray beauty. note how most of these people have created their own identity outside of that. we need to shift away from the corporate owned medias slant on the world and indoctrination and hypersexulisation of the minds youth, it is destroying us
Or didnt believe what was being said to them :-(
hard to believe when no one says that to you on a normal basis. Only like the top 1% of good looking people probably get compliments like everyday they are at social environments.
Ironic that below these posts there's an ad for "grandma's wrinkle trick" with some gimmick to iron out your wrinkles!
not ironic, its google targeted advertisements, funnily enough, the ad for me is for a video game, because i recently got a game for my daughter.
The one girl who got angry, kind of hit home for me. Sometimes you come from a hard place and when you actually do receive a compliment on how you look or something you do, you think it's another form of ridicule.
That's exactly what I would do. I dot know why I don't think someone would actually genuinely compliment me like that girl did
Yes, I also identified with the girl who got angry. When someone tells me I'm "beautiful," I know they're full of garbage and it seems like ridicule to me. I'm instantly suspicious and defensive. It's sad, I know, but that's just my reaction, and I totally understood the angry girl's reaction and empathized with her. Her reaction, more than anyone else's, made me cry.
I used to be exactly like this. It's tough to come out of that kind of mentality, but worth it. You are beautiful because there is no reason for you not to be. That's the truth.
Lori anyone saying you're beautiful isn't full of garbage! I just looked at your picture, and you are a beautiful lady! You've got an awesome sense of style, and you're rockin that haircut, I love it!
I was trying to understand that. She's probably never had anyone say that to her before. Maybe she's watched herself and realized that she is beautiful.
Shea, this is a lovely and sophisticated work.
At first I was watching this video and I was just enjoying it. But then, I started to tear up and ended up crying through about the last quarter of it. You can tell by some of their reactions that some of these kids hardly ever heard a simple compliment like that, who knows, maybe never. I hit the lowest point of my life, mentally, a month ago when I attempted suicide (I am a graduate student, but the reasons were unrelated to school or age). The next day, I understood why so many others are suffering. We all want love, yet we're all too afraid, or too lazy, or too busy to give it. Human beings need warmth and affirmation from each other in order to thrive. It is so important for young people to realize that they are beautiful and that they are capable of giving and receiving love. They need to know that they can do it. I know that even if I have not yet gotten what I deserve, I have the time to be there for others in the meantime. Amazing project, and a warm person behind it.
Katya, you would be amazed at the suffering people go through on a daily basis, from kids who don't feel loved, to spouses who don't get enough affection, to people who feel too weird to fit in..... I'm beginning to think that maybe the solution is to look outside, help others less fortunate, and maybe their gratitude would warm our hearts. Maybe it's better to search for the fuzzy feeling that comes when you know you did good for someone.
Thank you for sharing your story. <3
love to you!
of course we need each other. Isn't it so sad that we feel so isolated, and we feel it necessary or even appropriate to distance ourselves from each other as a matter of course?
this made me cry like a baby.
this has actually made me to the point of tears of mixed emotion. I feel amazing that all of these people are being told that they are beautiful and most of them are really pleasantly surprised and get bashful over it. But then i feel heart broken over the people who don't know how or react or react in such a way that they've been over the words 'i think you are beautiful'. I feel especially saddened by the girl who can only seem respond in a threatening way and it makes me think how little self worth over herself and its probably come from people close to telling her that she's ugly or feels that she is being conceived as weak if she looks or feels beautiful. I wish people we're told that they are beautiful more often than ugly for being themselves. The world would be so much better for it in my opinion.
What a beautiful piece. I'm also BLOWN away at how every single teenager in this video looks like an individual. I could not say the same about my high school. This school looks like an awesome place to thrive and be yourself. I wish you all so much success in life!
Wait, I completely understand what you're trying to say but I don't think it's fair to say that just because maybe at your high school the students were all aesthetically similar - whether it was all blond hair, all brunette hair, all boring, all whatever - that they are less "individual" than the ones in this video, because these students have colored hair and facial piercings and different genetics. Everyone is a person, regardless of their looks, because believing in the contrary is what starts us down a bad road of prejudice. :)
It was heartbreaking to watch that one girl respond with such anger to this. She responded how I likely would have (well, maybe not quite as violent, but I would have immediately felt insulted, and as if I was the butt of a mean joke.....seriously.) I knew exactly why she was angry. I understood it completely. And that is just so very sad. This was a lovely project. I am glad that it made the majority smile.
This is the best thing Ive seen on the internet in a long time
Sadly in high school i may have reacted like the violent girl because i wouldnt believe that anyone find me beautiful and i would thought it was a joke or someone trying to bother me.
This is an awesome piece! just wonderful
At first I wanted to slap that person who said "SHUT UP! do you have what you need? I'll cut you in the face". but then I realized that she's probably so used to people being the opposite of nice to her, that she didn't believe it, and it made me really sad. I hope she looks at this video and realizes that she is beautiful.
I believe beauty resides in the heart. What this photographer was doing was touching the love in people's hearts when she said she was photographing that which she found beautiful. What we saw was the beauty of people's hearts burst forth thru their faces when they realized what she'd said. That's why true beauty radiates from people who live in a state of love, no matter what their age.
Shedding tears. This is incredibly heavy, something like this may have literally changed someone's whole life. It's sad how most of your subjects were surprised that someone even had the notion that someone thought they were beautiful. I've lived most of my life with poor self worth, really hit hard, cheers!
A wonderful project, Shea, you made some people's day! Thanks you for doing this as you put another brick in the wall of positiveness and hope, something that is so rare nowadays. When people tell me the world is ugly I tell them, yes, there are many horrible things in the world but if you give yourself a chance you can see the kindness and beauty that hides behind the corners. When I went to Cambodia I had broken my arm two weeks prior and as I walked down a road an old Buddhist monk motioned me over to him. I did not speak Cambodian, he did not speak English but he prayed over my arm and put a little string bracelet on my wrist and smiled and that feeling has never left me. I hope I give people that feeling of love and hope too.
... I still have that bracelet, years later.
I feel so sorry for the girl who flipped out. She must have built up so many walls.
Some of those people are breaking my heart. Literally, I feel such pain and hollowness when people react like that girl who started threatening to cut her. Because it speaks of so much pain and shame, and I know that feeling, and no one should feel that way. No one should have to protect themselves by being aggressive when they are being flattered. I want to cry.
What was hardest was to see those that didn't know how to react.
The whole concept of this video was so BEAUTIFUL that it made me tear up! People, find your inner beauty, we are ALL beautiful in our own special way!
They are beautiful...all of them. And when you see how easy it is to make people feel good and happy, why is it we don't say nice things like that more often, rather than snip nasty remarks at everything?
Everyone is beautiful in their own way... Giving such a compliment to anyone will lift their mood up to the moon... :) It is a really nice experiment and we actually should give the people around us more compliments than we do now... We would have a much happier world to live in ! Great job Shea ! Love :X
I love this project. Beauty shines through doubt, anger, disbelief, sadness... some of the expressions on their faces made me cry. So many beautiful people who don't know their own beauty.
Dont u find it funny that the student made sure to clarify that her intentions were NOT to get the reaction out of people but to photograph beutiful things (that was just the result), and yet you still chose to name the article that way?!
This....is beauty. This is the message we all need to hear. Wouldn't the world be a much kinder place if we all took a moment and told the person standing next to us that they were beautiful? I think so.
It's like they are caught off guard and just for a moment we see there true beauty. I think these pictures show a momentary glimpse into there souls. They are astounding!!!
THIS is Beautfil. YOU are a Beautiful being. Thank you so much for being such a phenomenal influence for good in the world!!!
They all are beautiful.
They are all beautiful.
Shea, YOU are beautiful. And we don't even need to see you to know that. <3
As I watched this video, I cried almost the entire time. It's a beautiful video but it's sad that so many of us feel the need to cover our face or cry when we are told something good about ourselves. This says a lot about how many of us have self esteem problems whether it be because society sets the standards or because we aren't told this stuff enough to possibly believe it. I know I struggle with self esteem issues and it's painful it breaks my heart to see young people that early on in life feel or react the same way I do at 44 years old!
What I love is that she was telling the truth. Every one of these people was absolutely beautiful.
I think this experiment would have had very different results if it was a man asking strangers to take pictures of them because he thought they were beautiful.
To everybody in this video! I find all of you beautiful when you are smiling! I really do! Thank you for the video Shea Glover. :)
This has to be my favorite video of the year! I'm so moved... I'm moved with tears. Thank you so much for making this inspiring video! I'll never forget it!
love this so so much- it illustrates just how little we think of ourselves as Beautiful- and how the kindness and observation of another can change our outlook- My heart is broken for that one girl who's reaction was so bad. The things she must have been told in her life.... if you see this- YES You ARE Beautiful.
Love it. They are all beautiful, and isn't it lovely to see how much brighter they shine when they're told that? This is what we should be doing, making people feel like this, not tearing people apart.
Made me cry to see how many of these beautiful people don't see their own beauty!
Wonderful video and work, it made me cry, so much beauty in each and everyone of us! <3
A 40 year old man went round 'taking pictures of people he found beautiful'. Imagine they would be different reactions.
Thanks a lot shea , it's a beautiful project and I think yoûre a beautiful person .
I think everyone is beautiful and I'm not talking about looks. Everyone is beautiful because we all have the capacity of doing great things in this world.
Wonderful idea for a blog. I really enjoyed this one :(
I love this gallery and the video. Great work!
Look how people blossom when we fill them with positivity. What a beautiful project :o)
why am i crying so much. this is a wonderful thing, to see these people's reaction why am i crying
WHATS THE NAME OF THE GUY THAT SMILES IN THE PICTURES THAT LOOKS LIKE TROYE SIVAN
SOS. I'd really like to know the name of the guy that looks like trite Sivan.( 5th picture)
Does somebody knows the name of the woman in the kinda blue hair? I'm in love
Does somebody knows the name of the girl ib the kinda blue hair? I'm in love
These images are amazingly powerful. They showcase what positive honest communications can do.
Very good idea, shows how people respond to positive reinforcement. Bravo!
All of them are beautiful and this project is beautiful, it made me tear up. Thank you
When told they were beautiful, they all became that; beautiful!
The beauty of the souls being pictured came shining through. When told they were beautiful, they became that they were;beautiful! Ruth
Absolutely beautiful ☺
I felt so sorry for the girl who reacted defensively (and threatened the camera person) for calling her beautiful. She has such low self-confidence that she can't imagine someone would compliment her without making a joke out of it. I hope that one day she'll see her beauty and take down the wall she's put up (and I'm sure there was a good reason for putting it up).
I felt so sorry for the one girl who threatened the camera person because she couldn't believe that she was actually calling her beautiful. She was so sure she was making fun of her. What a horrible reaction. I hope that one day she can find confidence in herself!
This testimony to Love is a real gift for everyone, with gratitude for you to foster all this blossoming beauties!
they are more beautiful after they are told they are so.
they are more beautiful when they light up when told they are beautiful
yes you ARE beautiful! can't you see that?
People become beautiful when you tell them they are! If you are complaining there is not enough beauty in the world, you may want to ask yourself "what am I going to do to create it." The moment we define who amazing a person is is the moment they become their best selves. The fact that these people weren't already smiling when approached shows that we aren't doing enough to make people feel the way they should all the time: beautiful!!!!
Awesome idea. No, wait, I hate that adjective... Fabulous Idea, Shea.
Awsome idea! No wait, I hate that adjective... Fabulous Idea, Shea.
They are beautiful young people. Not sure why one girl got upset and wanted to cut Shae.
Pure awesomeness.. Thank you Shea glover
nothing is beautiful than a honest smile :)
So touching, and she's right those faces are beautiful pity some don't believe it.
One word.....beautiful x
Most people aren't confident enough to believe they are beautiful unless someone tells them. Unless we look like famous good looking people, we aren't that confident at all and we all feel like we got the bad end of the stick. I know I feel like that everyday as I wake up and look in the mirror and try to fix all the flaws I think I have. I react the same way the rare times someone gives me a compliment about my appearance.
It takes so little effort to make the world shine! Thank you for warming their hearts, and mine!
Love it! Made me smile the whole time. Thanks for sharing.
They ARE all beautiful! If you enjoyed this film, here's another 12 year-old short film that's almost exactly like it! :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5fpj6ZlK_I http://thoughtmoments.com
I haven't been told I am beautiful ever. Or that I am loved (by someone who meant it) in decades. Or a hug in years. I think I would cry.
Sometimes I receive a gift from out of nowhere of seeing myself as beautiful, even though I am not young now and did not see myself as beautiful when I was, though others often did. Having come to love myself I know that beauty is much more than an image to behold, it is a thing, like this video, that inspires love.
Whenever I go to the park the store or to church and I see an elderly lady Being shy and alone and not looking real with it that day I go up and I say can I give you a hug and I give them a hug and I tell them, I always hug the pretty girls and they always brighten up so much they start blushing, it's a beautiful moment
The girl that said she would cut her on the face... it made me cry to think how she must feel that she thinks she is being made fun of.
Makes you wonder if in all of the photos she took of things she finds beautiful, especially given the message she is trying to convey, did she include a photo of herself?
I think that this is... beautiful!
Love this! See how a simple act of kindness can bring such joy.
The facepalm is my favorite reaction, because it's what I would do lol
The thing that struck me most, was the beauty of each person becoming more striking after they were told they were beautiful. There eyes lit up and their smiles radiated even more making them even more beautiful. Great project.
Bit bad this, the idea is stolen from an artist called Douglas Huebler's work 'Variable Piece #34', he photographed people in 1970 at the instant exactly after the photographer said, “You have a beautiful face".. Really moving images, just a shame the photographer didn't credit the idea to Huebler
I'd react like the girl who sighed because I don't believe anyone when they say I'm beautiful, because they're lying
A high school student did this... brought a smile to each and every one of them. Imagine if everyone complimented just one person a day and they did the same? What a wonderful world this would be.
i see so much hurt and low self worth....thank you for uplifting these people and reminding them of their beauty....they are all beautiful God made people. I wish they could all realise how they are LOVED AND VALUED AND ARE BEAUTIFUL, in Christ. Thank you for being so beautiful Shea
everyone is beautiful in every way they might be.
Totally made me cry. Each face lit up with such beauty in their smile. You could see their eyes light up when they realized what she said. And those who didn't believe her- that was heartbreaking.
Still, an underlying issue is that BEAUTY gets so much emphasis. How would people react if told they have a heart of gold? That they're very meaningful in their friends' lives? In a culture that over-rates good looks, it seems that nothing else really matters....
I defy you to watch this and not smile and become beautiful.
I defy you to watch this video and no smile and become beautiful yourself
I have no idea what you look like, Shea, but YOU are beautiful!
Awww this was the sweetest video I've seen on FB in a long while!! I felt beautiful and the camera wasn't even on me!!! Job well done Shea :0) such a beautiful person
Very very very powerful. Like world shakingly powerful. Thank you.
Well done, Shea. At 18 years of age, you've managed to do something that has had a great emotional impact on the subjects and the viewers. You've come up with a great idea and I salute you for that. Yours, a 43 year old man.