Seeing with the Heart

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taliaBy: Talia Lusterman, 19, Project HEAL Russell Sage Chapter

Le Petit Prince is a french novella written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In the story, the fox reveals his secret, “on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” Translated, it means, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” From a young age I was always concerned with my looks. I wanted to be thin and pretty like the girls on television and in magazines. We are exposed to the media’s “ideal woman” at a young age. We aspire to look like them and go to extremes to achieve it. Why is this such a priority? We are worth so much more than our looks. While struggling with body image in high school, I read pieces of Le Petit Prince in my French class, where I saw this quote and fell in love with it. The fox’s quote sparked a change in me. What’s important is on the inside. I wanted to stop basing my self-worth on my looks. People are complex and have so much more to them than their appearance. Like the fox said, “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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