Dr. Rebecca Hains
For several weeks, an eighth-grade boy outside of Kansas City has been expressing his individuality by carrying a floral-print Vera Bradley purse. But yesterday, his assistant principal demanded he remove it. The boy refused, and he was immediately suspended from school.
This raises a question: Why is it a problem for a boy to carry a purse instead of a backpack if he wants to? By breaking gender stereotypes, he’s not hurting anyone. Instead, he’s showing the world that he has good self-esteem and self-confidence—that he is secure his identity.
Unfortunately, his school administrators’ actions show that they want to force a 13-year-old kid into stereotypical masculinity. Apparently, they value gender conformity over creativity and individuality.
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sometimes you feel hopeless. all you want to do is change everything about yourself and look flawless. everyone wants to be perfect, but do we all have to go through the sacrifice of leaving your true self and become a completely different person? or should we just all embrace our unique qualities and not give a dam on what anybody has to say about our characteristics.
You may know Shay Mitchell as an actress working on the hit ABC Family TV show called Pretty Little Liars. To me Shay Mitchell is not only a great actress in but also a role model and inspiration. In this Hollywood scene there are rarely any celebrities willing to show their true colors and Shay has managed to break away from that group and talk about her true self. Today I was reading a interview based on her life in a magazine called Seventeen. As I read the article I began to discover many different things about Shay Mitchell. What she suffered through as a teen really touched me personally. The reason for that is because she went through the same things that I am currently going through. When she was in high school she did not feel like she was part of the crowd in her school. She did not fit in because everyone surrounding her was the same skin toned while she was a different color that did not blend in with the other kids. I feel like that all the time at my school and it bothers me. I feel like an outcast at times because I look around me and see beautiful skinned girls and think to myself “Why wasn’t I born like them, their so perfect”. I would be in this mind set of thinking I was not good enough because of my skin color, until today. When I read the article of Shay in Seventeen it made me realize we are all different. We were born with different characteristics that set us apart from each other and it is time for me to accept that. “Go out into the sun and don’t worry about getting darker, and stop straightening your hair. Love the fact that it’s wavy! I’d tell myself to just embrace what you were born with because it’s beautiful and you were made like that for a reason.” These words Shay stated are words of wisdom for me. What Shay said is exactly what I thought every single day. I would not like to go outside in the sunlight because I was frightened to get darker. It may sound stupid because I have to face the sun one day, but that is what went through my mind all the time.Everyone (even my friends) would be ranting that they don’t want to get darker. I would just sit there saying nothing because I am already dark skinned and I was never worried about getting more darker. I felt like I was a completely different from everyone else and not considered as a pretty girl because of my skin color. For years I have battled with this insecurity just because what I grew up is seeing everywhere from TV, magazines and advertisements is that the ideal girl is fair skinned with beautiful hair and a nice face. But as I get older I realize that “beautiful” can be defined in many different ways. Everyone feels like they have to look a certain way and act a certain way to be excepted in this world. After reading Shay’s article I told myself I am done trying to be somebody I am not. I am tired of sheltering myself from the rest of the world and not being myself. I realized I am beautiful no matter what people say about me. I feel more confident in my own skin because I finally got to know about somebody who faced the same situation I am in. Shay Mitchell if you ever read this I would like to tell you, you have really impacted my life in a way you can’t even imagine. I thank you from the bottom of my heart because if I would have never found out this about you I would probably be insecure and hide my true self. Now I am proud of how I look like and will walk with pride at the hallways of my school and think to myself “I am different and I own it”. Thank you Shay. ❤
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