I just want to be myself
It makes me really sad that we make decisions about who we will be or what we want for ourselves based on how will be judged or in fear that we will made fun of.
Case in point: did you see me Saturday? If you did, you saw that my hair was wrapped in 100's of braids with a slew of colorful beads... "You look like a 14 year old girl on spring break."
From my friends, I got a mix of surprise, delight, and wonder about my bold decision. Pink hair, bright colors, eccentric wander ~ my braids were a humorous fashion show followed by a curious Q&A by most. I got a little more than I bargained for in the public view...
Headed out to promote an event at Buffalo Wild Wings, I wasn't feeling self conscious or unsure of myself. I was actually excited to display my adventurous spirit and meet new people. With grimacing looks, snickers, and the unfriendly double takes, I quickly found myself shrinking in my own skin. Of course I didn't protrude that! Even in the midst of intimidation I stand fearless. But it really made me start thinking: what a judgey MEAN community of assholes I'm surrounded by!
Are we so arrogant or close minded that anyone who looks a bit different is an eye sore?
If it was just a few people giving me the looks and shunning me, I wouldn't be writing this blog. It was the MAJORITY, and especially girls! A handful of people complimented me, wanted to touch them, or asked questions; but most looked away, giggled, or whispered amongst their friends. I even got a wide eyed OH MY GOD as if they were embarrassed for me.
None of this is going to change who I am or what I do. But I have to admit, even the most confident and bold person is going to feel pain from being alienated. I'm genuinely hurt.
And as I sat in the car with Amber headed home, I shamefully unbeaded my braids.
Thoughts: people will not do things they want to do or be who they want to be BECAUSE of being shamed! Because they're afraid they'll be judged, stared at, laughed at, or made fun of. This revelation makes me so sad. How many of us are wandering earth not being who we want to be!? Worse, how about people who are different by nature, not by choice, like a burn victim or someone with a skin ailment? The constant stares and snickers; the fear of being judged and made fun. It makes me sad. What is wrong with us!?
I was nearly beaten up once a few years ago at Winn Dixie for having bright running clothes on and "lookin like a damn fool" I'd so much rather have a head full of braids and a ridiculous outfit on then look like everyone else. I mean, look around ~ we all have the same clothes on, the same look, the same haircut, the same brown boots, the same purses, wallets, the same jewelry! Ticky Tacky.
What's so wrong with being different?!
I'm not weird. I'm not crazy. At least not in the crummy way you define weird and crazy.
And hey, by the way, don't let my confidence fool you, I have feelings. (gasp of surprise!), I bet we ALL do. So that means every dirty look you give, every disapproving stare or shake of head, every OMG you mouth, every gawk or disbelief you whisper with your friends, you're hurting someone. Someone who maybe just wants to be themselves.
"You will never change the world by trying to be like it."