Do not judge people by their outward appearance. The words of the girls of St Mary’s Calne.

This is the text of today’s Assembly at St Mary’s Calne – written, led and delivered passionately by the girls. It struck me that Positive Image Month is working – for these are the thought leaders of the future, and this is what they are thinking. I offer especial thanks to Ellys Airey for allowing me to reproduce her words here:

Do not judge people by their outward appearance.

Our society nowadays is used to judging people on their appearance first and on their personality second. Ugliness itself is a personal perception, just as beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Nowadays people spend a lot of time making sure we look good on the outside, but what are we doing to make sure we look good on the inside? Beauty in the way society perceives it is not always a blessing. Even the most outwardly stunning people can have selfish, mean traits, which make them ugly. In Samuels 16:7 the Bible says “the Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

It is the easiest thing in the world to judge someone without getting to know them. In a recent survey of the nation, three fifths of people said they form their opinion of someone within just 5 seconds of meeting them and more than a third said appearance was everything when forming first impression. 37% of Londoners reported that they ‘always’ judge someone by their appearance when meeting them for the first time, whereas we are thankfully among the less judgmental of people, as those who live in the south west are the most forgiving with only 17 per cent forming their opinion about someone purely on their appearance.

‘Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.’ If you can look at yourself and love the way you are now, then nothing can stop your inner beauty shinning through. Audrey Hepburn was deemed one of the most beautiful women to date, but it wasn’t her sheer outwardly attraction that was truly stunning but her inner beauty. Years ago when she was asked about her beauty secrets, she replied with remarkable grace: “for lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.”

As Eleanor Roosevelt so rightly said, “No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.” The ability to believe in yourself, listen to others, exercise forgiveness and most importantly have confidence in all you do and in what you want to achieve, will essentially give you your inner beauty, because after all you cannot hide your inner self under a layer of makeup forever.

This lifted my heart this morning – girls, well done!! Onwards!


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