I Believe in Individuality and Standing Up for Radical Ideas

Discussion
Mar 13, 2015
by: Sami2016
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This essay is introduced, then begins after 1:17 min.

I believe in individuality and standing up for radical ideas. Striving and achieving a more accepting and informed society has proven to be nearly impossible in this day and age. Throughout my entire high school career I have found myself cringing every day at the ignorant statements made by my fellow peers. Conforming to surface ideas and laughing at those who do not is a popular pastime for many high school students. As pessimistic as it seems to generalize people like this, I think it is rooted in deeper issues taught to children by their parents and various other “role models.” People are robots who reiterate everything that was taught to them, never taking the time to listen.

I have firsthand experience with this. Sometimes I feel ridiculed because of interesting choices I make pertaining to my style and cultural tastes that aren’t the social norm. I look back proud of who I am. Proud that I can stand up and be the person that I want to be. Walking the halls of high school and seeing a funny face from the girl with a body like a barbie and a “winning personality” used to crush me on the inside. Thoughts shot through my head, why doesn’t anybody like me? Why am I not cool? Why are they “cool” and I am “weird”? I spent a large portion of my adolescent life worrying about what people like that think. At one point I even went through a deep depression, where the world itself seemed utterly hopeless. Living in a world where your physical appearance seems to trump all-- even earning some people their living. Shallowness seems to be apparent in every minuscule crevice of this superficial world. However melancholy I felt, I kept going-- as I was slowly dying on the inside. The evils of society have coached me to be more self-reliant and to work harder at whatever I am doing.

At one point, self realization kicked in and I chose to live for myself. I pierced my ears over ten times, cut my long, flowing hair and changed my values. No more adapting off of other people’s cultural decisions. Eventually I dyed my hair blue and got my septum pierced. I would also like to boast about how I stand up for what I believe in more than most teenage girls. I am a vegan, practicing the belief that animals should be slaughtered in a more sanitary, less-barbaric fashion. I consider myself to be apart of the feminist movement, it is a crucial part of who I am.
I believe in being a vegan, blue-haired feminist because it makes me a fascinating and open-minded person. My thoughts and ideas are my own-- if not they come from people who I admire, not some girl who looks like a barbie and deems herself iconic. I wouldn’t want to be anybody else, for I love who I have become as a person-- I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The audio for this essay can be found at:
https://soundcloud.com/samiluke/this-i-believe

Comments

Thank you. It's refreshing to

landayc18's picture
Submitted by landayc18 on Thu, 2015-03-26 16:04.

Thank you. It's refreshing to see a different opinion among a sea of faceless sheep. I have long believed conformity and social expectations to be a bane of our society. In my opinion, it is extremely detrimental to impose stereotypes and cookie cutter personalities on young children- it isn't good for their character, and it isn't good for a society that seeks to be successful in the world.

I really appreciate your essay and above all else, I admire your resolve to be unique.

:)

Submitted by Sami2016 on Fri, 2015-03-27 12:49.

Thank you, I am glad to have somebody agree with me.

Great essay

magyars18's picture
Submitted by magyars18 on Thu, 2015-03-26 17:29.

I also feel that modern society is epitomized by an attitude of conformity to most of the others around you. When I was in middle school, I was constantly being referred to as "weird" by everyone, and I grew to accept that I was unlike everyone else. Now, I can confidently be who I am wherever I am, no matter how strange it may be. However, I still thought that one of my sisters was weird since she randomly says things in silly voices all the time, but this essay is very touching and has made me see countless people differently. I can now fully understand that not everyone is really the same and that unique personalities lie underneath the veil of conformity, waiting for a chance to show themselves.

:)

Submitted by Sami2016 on Fri, 2015-03-27 12:49.

Thank you! I am glad that my writing touched you in such a way.

Hello! I'd like to mention

Submitted by cottrellibird on Fri, 2015-03-27 00:18.

Hello!
I'd like to mention that your courage to post this is admirable. For a person like me, it'd take a lot to even do what you did. I agree with all that you said. Some people have opinions that will remain unchanged and some are easily manipulated. Changing the whole world is something we will never see. Possibly this modern civil rights movement is drawing near to the beginning, but there is still so far to go. Maybe there still are students who look like Barbies but I think that many people are just not allowed to be anything other than that. Remember, there are stereotypes for a reason. For example, my image is plain. I have two piercings on each ear and a pixie cut. That's a lot for a person who spent most of their life with hair over a foot long. It took a lot of confidence to even think of asking my mom if that'd be okay for me to do. Some people just don't live in a world where they are in charge. I agree that dying your hair blue is a statement, and I encourage uniqueness! But a lot of other people who overpower people's choices don't see that too, and so people they control can't express themselves. Like my mom, many students get high lights or low lights but that's easy enough to do at any barber shop. Possibly that's all you're allowed to do to your own hair: look like a Barbie doll. If I asked for highlights, the only question would be whether they would display well in my hair. On occasion, I would ask my mom whether I could dye my hair. Her response was flat out NO. I'd just like the more broad picture of life to be viewed instead of assuming how everyone else's life is. Thank you for your time!
-Emilia C.

I agree, however...

Submitted by Sami2016 on Fri, 2015-03-27 12:47.

I agree with your comment, however I don't really think you fully understand my intent. One of my points is that people shouldn't be judged because of how they look and they should create their own style and be their own person. Piercings and dyed hair is not the only way a person can be their own person that was merely a decision I made that set me apart from others. I think you're missing the bigger picture, which is that everybody should feel welcome to be who they want to be.
Thank you

I believe in individuality and standing up for radical ideas.

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 2015-03-27 09:37.

I believe in individuality and standing up for radical ideas. I'm a middle schooler and I always see people's ideas get put down. You don't always see people stand up for them selves and when they do it usually ends up turning into a fight.

This essay is quite

Turtle's picture
Submitted by Turtle on Mon, 2015-03-30 08:48.

This essay is quite inspirational. Leading up to my years in high school, I hung out with a group of girls where the prettiest and skinniest always seemed to be the best. I didn't even realize that until I began to see the world with more open eyes. I still hang out with those girls sometimes, but I got tired of feeling like an outcast and basically created my own group of friends. We are open minded and feminists, and we believe that everyone is equal, no matter what. After I began to realize how much more fun interesting people are, my whole life changed. I began to make friends with all sorts of people, including people with blue hair and pink dyed pixie-cuts. These people are often so much fun to be around because they are confident in who they are, like you, and don't try to conform to society's barbie-doll obsession. Its incredibly refreshing and makes me feel like I can be whoever I want to be. Thank you so much for helping me put these thoughts that have been floating around my head into context. You are inspirational. Thank you for being true to yourself.