Letter to the Editor: Narrow acceptance, blind to originality

By Anna Love

You stop listening to indie because Taylor Swift and Lil Wayne are where it’s at. You switch over from the movie you’ve never heard of because Pretty Little Liars is on, and you can’t be out of the loop. By doing this you are changing what goes into your mind. Trading something unique for something mainstream makes your mind become mainstream. It’s difficult to have original thoughts when you’re putting the same thing into your head as everyone else. Everyone thinking alike means no diversity and no new ideas. No new ideas means no questioning the wrongs in the high school society, which means no change.

When people are trying to fit that perfect mold of what’s already been established, they are throwing away their own selves, personalities, quirks, all of the beauty that composes their originality. People strive to fit the perfect mold, and if they don’t, they’re outsiders.

Think, you’re never going to see a goth in the front row of the student section. Even though they may want to be there, they are scared of the judgement. People would be talking. Why are they here? They’re taking one of “our” spots. Someone make them leave, etc. It sounds harsh, but it’s completely true. The outsiders have it in their minds that they aren’t good enough to be there, and they don’t belong there. The in-group agrees with them; in their mindset the outsiders are inferior.

It all comes down to the social ladder of high school and the fight to be on top. The way that people reach the top isn’t by bettering themselves or working their way up, but by tearing people down. So, in the end, all you are left with is a shorter, demoralized ladder. People push out the weird, the quirky, the original and create social outcasts. Being a social outcast can lead to social (mental) problems: having trouble communicating with others because of the fear of being judged in everything you say or do. Doing anything different leads to judgement. Talking, dressing, walking — anything that can be noticed is judged. Kids can feel so unloved, unaccepted, unappreciated that they feel the need to harm themselves, starve themselves or even take their own lives. And the other kids who cause these feelings don’t think twice, let alone once, about the consequences of how they are acting.

Why do people higher on the social ladder attack those lower than them? Why do people lower on the social ladder attack those higher than them? We can always take the typical response of “they are just so bored with their own average lives that they have to get into everyone else’s.” Or is it something more? They may be feeling insecure about how they are living their own lives and decisions they aren’t proud of. They find faults in others to make their own bad decisions seem better in their own minds. If someone wants what someone else has, jealousy can convince them to tear that person down. It doesn’t matter if they’re skinnier, have more friends or are dating the girl/boy you’ve been crushing on since seventh grade because that person’s nose is too big, or that person’s hair is too frizzy. It sounds so conceited and idiotic, but everyone has done it or has heard someone else do it. Like the fact that they have a physical flaw will make that girl/boy dump them and come crawling to you.

The unoriginality of people causes them to bully and target people who don’t fit into whatever mold they perceive is right. From clothing choice to the latest rumor, what you do on the weekends, who you spend time with, people will judge every aspect and spread around whatever faults they see. The one thing people need to realize is that proving you are a good person means not showing evil heartedness while talking about others, but showing compassion towards their feelings and situations in life. You never know whose grandma just died, whose entire paycheck goes towards their parent’s house payment or who is struggling with an eating disorder. You can’t tell who is strong enough to fight through the harsh words and who doesn’t have the strength anymore — who has just had enough.

As one, we must fight this. Stand up for the outsider. We need to engrave it into our minds that it doesn’t matter who is attractive, who is athletic, who is unattractive and who is awkward. No one is better than anyone else. Why not embrace the fact that we are all beautifully different.

(Jordan Strauss/AP Images)

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