Don’t Forget to Be Awesome — PSA from vlogbrother Hank Green

I woke up this morning feeling extraordinarily good. There is little to explain it, but I simply feel awesome today. I feel so alive, so wonderful, so significant and powerful, and nothing is going to change that. And sure enough, it has been a whole day, and I still feel awesome! To top it off, the stars were aligning as I was getting dressed today and I realized that I thought I looked pretty awesome too! My physical appearance doesn’t define every fiber of my being, but it certainly helps make me feel a little bit more confident when my inner confidence and joy for life is present for all to see.

Why yes, yes I am! And so are you!

You’re first question is probably “Gee, you would think she would have been done with this feeling awesome thing a lot sooner.” And no, Negative Nancys, I can’t think of a reason to want to stop feeling awesome.

The next question is probably something along the lines of “What’s with all the awesome? There are at least 40 synonyms for awesome, and she is clearly having a mental breakdown if she can’t use any of them. Why am I still reading this?”

Calm down. I have a point.

John and Hank Green, creators of the online identity the vlogbrothers, have proceeded to take the internet by storm with their incredible sense of adventure, fun, and non-stop wit and humor. I happened across their videos because I was strongly encouraged to read John Green’s Paper Towns last year by a fellow Honors Humanitarian when I was a freshman in college. (Shout out to Casey Patterson, who spoke at University of Maryland’s first TED talk, TEDxUMD, this past spring!)

The vlogbrothers John and Hank Green, in cartoon form

I’ve read basically all of John Green’s books since then, and can’t get enough of the videos because each one, regardless of its creator, carries with it a sense of self-identity and knowledge-seeking. They cover topics ranging from the oldest song in the history of mankind to explanations of the conflict in Egypt, from the subject of deserving to awesome books you probably haven’t read. It’s procrastination on a whole new level, with the added bonus of leaving you with the feeling of intellectual accomplishment or general love of life and all that is a part of life.

I love the world and everything on it. Even if it is the shape of a heart.

There are a number of their videos that discuss very relevant subjects to my blog, but this one stuck out to me the most. John’s brother, Hank, posted this video about “What Boys Look For in Girls” and it is nothing like other videos with similar titles. His insight into culture and the impact that it has upon a woman’s perception of self-worth hits the nail right on the head. One of my favorite lines is his exclamation that “Girls are not the photons that hit the corneas of boys!” It may sound over the top, but that’s the point. Women are not, and should not be, assessed for their value based on the expectations of the men — or women, for that matter — in their lives.

Hank Green, the author of the above-mentioned video.

A woman’s personal value ought to come from the fulfillment of that which she deems important in her own eyes, not in the eyes of the male gaze. We look at so many people on a regular basis without actually seeing them, without really considering how multifaceted they are beneath the surface and what their dreams and personal pursuits may be. Rather than make surface assumptions about surface elements like someone’s appearance, I think it is important to think deeper and look for the value in a person’s life from within them.

Don’t forget that being awesome is more than just being physically attractive or appealing to any man or any woman. It is more than catching the eye of that person that makes you feel special. You alone define your value and the expectations for your life.

Don’t be a photon on a cornea. Be the eye that sees the world and the wonderful people in it.

Oh, and Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.