Local woman thinks about standards of beauty

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Jessica Harvey, 24, of Williamsport, has been thinking about standards of beauty, and what really makes someone attractive. Harvey explained that she always has had an interest in encouraging body acceptance and teaching others that weight does not define who a person is inside.

Recently, her younger sister, Alex Harvey, was crowned prom queen at Williamsport Area High School.

“My sister is a beautiful person, but she does not fit the standard definition of beauty in America,” Harvey said.

“There’s a huge bias on weight in this country. The fact that her peers chose her as their prom queen goes to show you don’t have to be a size 2 to accomplish something in life,” she added.

Harvey thinks that her sister’s confidence and intelligence are magnetic, and noted that Alex seems to make friends easily wherever she goes.

“When she was younger people would make comments about her weight, but that doesn’t bother her. She owns who she is and is an overall wonderful person,” Harvey said.

Harvey remembered her own time in high school and said that she hopes teens these days are becoming more tolerant of others.

“When I was in school I think it was very different. Kids would come up behind you to pull the tag out of your shirt and make fun of you if you weren’t wearing brand name clothes,” Harvey said.

There was a strict definition of popularity when she was a teenager, Harvey recalled, and that those who didn’t fit the image of the clique were not accepted.

She thinks her sister’s talent, charisma and caring nature have allowed her to transcend that type of close-mindedness.

“My sister is incredibly talented, and a great friend. I think that is a part of the reason people are so drawn to her,” Harvey said.

“I think that (Alex being elected prom queen) has been a lesson that the most important thing to do is be a good, caring person, and that will open all kinds of doors in life,” she added.