Beauty Journal 2

Emily Liu
8 min readJun 2, 2022

Part 1:

Last semester I took a course titled “On Beauty”, an attempt to understand what is beautiful and tasteful through literature, and thus how the constructs have been represented through different histories and cultures. Throughout the course, I had began a “beauty journal”, documenting at least one beautiful moment a week. It was a reflective process, as we can expect anything to be that requires you to constantly think about it in your subconscious. And while I did not continue documenting beauty week by week, the habit of taking pictures of beautiful things is one I did not lose. I’ve started to take more pictures of the people and moments in my life for the people and moments of my life. I often don’t like getting pictures of myself taken, yet I really appreciate the ones my friends sneak of me — photos where I’m really just in love with the people, things, or moment in front of me, that you can see through my eyes.

Here’s another semester of beautiful people, things, and moments:

There’s two things I have left to say:

  1. Beauty is hiding. I see different stories in these images than you do. I see my friend grasping onto artwork reselling for thousands on ebay in one hand and a giant bag of trash in the other. I see the sun setting over my elementary school. I see the end of a long day. I see the first meal I cooked in my apartment with my new roommate. I see wallets crying and moments before bursting into tears. I see stumbling into the church across the street for Greek food. I see moments where I realized that today might be the last day like this, ever. You may see the same, or you may just see sunsets.
  2. I document these moments because I so badly want them to be mine… when they already are. It is difficult for me to believe that what is mine is already mine and it cannot be taken away. The moments I have lived are and will remain mine. I let others (people, institutions) hold so much possession and power in my own life; why can’t I recognize that I, too, take space? I feel like I will lose the things I do not capture or document, that my own life is delegitimized or less real. Do I label things as beautiful become once I perceive them, they feel more mine?