Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Okay to Be Who You Are

Over the past few decades, individuality has become taboo. A lot of young women feel that if they don't look and act like everyone else, they'll be left out in the cold. And then there are those that profess to be individuals, but are only the latest in a long line of conformists. At various stages of our lives we all want to fit in, but should never try so hard that we lose sight of who we are. I've always been someone who does my own thing. At times my choices have overlapped with what is or was the latest thing, but I never consciously sought to model myself after those things. Unfortunately, the quest for individuality can result in bullying. Years ago when we thought of bullying, we thought of larger boys beating up on smaller boys and sometimes girls. Now girls are bullies. There's the whole mean girl phenomenon that took hold about 10 years or so ago. Most of bullying from girls isn't physical, it's verbal. Rumors are spread and uncool girls are frozen out of the group. What I've described happens in elementary school. It only gets worse in middle and high school. It's becoming tougher and tougher for females as they grow up. The best thing for parents to do would be to let them know that it's okay to be different. Different doesn't equal bad. If we were all exactly the same and liked the same things, we'd be bored to death. Our differences are what make us interesting.

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