Uniting the city's teens to create an outlet to inform, communicate, and provide positive change through written expression

Stories by ‘Mariam Bah’

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Teens choose personality over looks

AFH art by Patricia Romelus

AFH art by Patricia Romelus

Fourteen-year-old Matty Jobarteh, from Hyde Park, thinks someone’s appearance makes an impression but personality keeps it going.

“If someone looks pretty, people are going to make them memorable but if the person is arrogant and irritating, it doesn’t make any sense,” says Jobarteh.

Even though we all want to look good and are attracted to physical beauty, many teens say that personality is the more important asset. Someone with great features may turn heads in a crowded room, but, teens say, it’s those whose personalities draw us to them who will win our deep affection and esteem.

Lansana Fofana, 15, from Dorchester, thinks physical appearance is a very shallow thing.

“For example, someone can get into a terrible accident and destroy their looks and also people grow old – their good looks start to vanish,” says Fofana. “What is left? Personality.”

Bintou Conte, 16, from Mattapan, believes that looks do matter at some point because if you’re going to marry somebody, appearance counts.

On the other hand, she says: “Those who have the best personalities are the winners in life.”

Hijab: Why I don’t wear It

I’m a believer. I practice Islam every day. I pray. I speak of Allah. I read the Quran. However, I don’t wear the Hijab, which symbolizes modesty.

As a believer, it is inadmissible to do something that has to do with God just because people are forcing you. Wearing the hijab is a request from God himself — not from your parents or anyone else. I believe that it is much more important to do it for you and for your God because, at the end of the day, when we die, everyone is going to lie alone in different tombs.

I never grew up wearing the hijab. Up until I turned 12, my parents never said anything about it. Why should I suddenly start wearing it? It’s almost like going outside without clothing — you are not comfortable doing it.

Several years from now, when I’m married let’s say, I’ll probably change my mind because I will feel mentally ready to choose to wear it. I won’t have my mom and dad wanting me to put it on – only myself and my God.