In your hands is something that has been a dream of mine for five years. These simply bound pages with all their vivid pictures and thoughtful content are a piece of me. I have given all I can to make this award worthy for the school that I love. This magazine is the culmination of my journey as a writer, editor and person. When my seventeen-year-old self first walked onto Pepperdine’s campus, I had only one thing in mind: I wanted to be editor of this magazine. That’s it. No princess tiaras or Academy Awards for me. I just want a magazine with a byline reading “Editor-in-Chief JB Maza.”
Now, after the long nights and hours put into this single effort, there is no more I can do. I can’t direct you to which pages to read first. I can’t dictate how you flip through the photographs just to see the pretty pictures. All I can do is give you a little piece of myself. It is up to you to do with it what you will.
But with this piece of me, I hope that you will grow, learn and feel inspired by the theme of beauty in these pages. Beauty is an all-encompassing idea that no one can escape. But what must be relearned and retaught is that beauty isn’t passing judgment. It isn’t a bad thing that is meant to tear people down. It is a way of reaffirming existence.
So my dear reader, in case no one has said it today, you are beautiful. No matter what the days may bring ahead, your beauty will never falter. No one can take away your beauty unless you give them permission. Whatever is beautiful to you may not seem so apparent to me, but that’s the beauty of it. It is unique and individual.
Beauty is an essence instilled in each of us. It has the power to create or destroy a person’s psyche. That beauty inside you has the ability to utilize that power. We can build each other or tear each other down.
Even if you feel like an outsider, there are always others with you. You just need to find a new perspective. If you don’t see your own beauty, then you need to readjust your lense. Every human has worth and importance no matter what others say. That is a simple fact. And that is beautiful to me.