This I Believe

Brittney - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on January 11, 2007

High school judging. One of the scarcest things a high school student can go through. Everyone thinks people make fun of them for everything. Your not wearing the right type of shoes, you get made fun of. You don’t have the right hair style, you get made fun of, but who is to tell people what’s in style and what isn’t? Media, on of the worst judges in the world. People rely so much on media that they don’t usually see what is really going on. Media sets an image for men and women all over the country. Saying what guys to date, how to be beautiful, what cloths to ware, while setting these standards people never take the time to notice that you are who you are.

Everyday I would walk down the halls of my middle school and see girls in tiny skirts and low cut shirts surrounded by a lot of guys, and everyday I would ask myself, “What does she have that I don’t have?” I mean sure I like wearing big cloths and I hate wearing skirts, but what does she have that I don’t.

After school I would go to my house and for hours I would just sit and stair at myself in the mirror. Soon I began to look down on myself. “Maybe I’m just not pretty,” I would tell myself. After a while my thoughts became reality. Soon I started hating myself. My mom and friends soon became worried. Everyday I would go home and get the same crap from my mom.

“What is wrong with you, why aren’t you ever happy,” she would ask, and I would always tell her the same thing.

“I hate my life.”

Millions of times I thought about just running away because I never felt like I fit in at all. I had already drifted away from all my friends so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. Then one day I met a girl and we started becoming really close. She was really popular and she would always give me advice on how to be in. Soon I found myself being just like her. I had a lot of friends, everyone looked up to me, and even though my new friend was treating me like crap I loved getting the attention. I felt beautiful, and I loved it. People finally thought that I was cool, but of course everyone gets tired. Soon I got bored with all the attention and met a new friend. She was popular and hung around a lot of guys. She didn’t treat me badly and she made me feel like a real person. So finally after losing my one friend my new friend took me under her wing. We became really close and I loved her.

On day I was sitting at her house and she hit me. So just thinking that she was playing around so I hit her back. Then she grabbed my arm and she told me that if I ever hit her again that she would kill me. Soon she started giving me these rules.

“Don’t look at my friends look at the floor; don’t say hi to people in the hall!”

Afraid that I might lose my only friend I did what she said, and everyday I still did the same thing I would go home and look in the mirror at myself. I still hated myself. I started talking to my mirror like I was talking to myself. I would look into my eyes and say, “What is wrong with you? Why do you let people treat you like this?”

They were good questions to ask myself even though I was getting down on myself, but I was asking myself why. Then it was like I was bipolar because all of the sudden I would hate myself again, and I would ask myself questions like, “Why are you so ugly? Why are you never happy?” It was horrible.

Then in Eighth grade I did a speech over Anorexia and how the media puts too much presser on young teens to look like super models and actors. Then suddenly one day I was watching a special on T.V. about the influence that media has on young teens. They had famous actor and actresses talk about some of the bad influence the media puts on teens. They had actors like Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt, and actresses like Julie Roberts and Goldie Hawn. All skinny and fit people, but suddenly my life was changed when they showed Queen Latifa. She talked about how it’s ok to be big and how it’s ok to be yourself no matter what anyone thinks. She said that she was big and that she wasn’t ashamed of herself and how she looked. My spirits were lifted. That night I looked at myself in the mirror and I said, “Why do you hate yourself so much, you are who you are.” I never let anyone talk down to me again.

Today I sit her, a sophomore in high school, with new hope. I know that I don’t have to be anyone but myself. I don’t have to impress anyone but myself. I sit here knowing that more then half of the people in my class are scared to be themselves. More then half of the people that made fun of me feel like they don’t fit in half of the time. People in society today are afraid to show people who they really are. Media is a drug its one reason that leads teens to tease people, eating disorders, and even suicide. This I believe. I also believe that you should never be afraid to be yourself. You are who you are, and there’s no one like you.