I believe stereotyping is wrong. I believe people should get to know one another before making rash judgments. People today are too quick to call someone a name before getting to know that person. My boyfriend and I are prime examples.
Just recently, my boyfriend Trevor and I went to my little sisters dance recital. When Trevor goes out he wears spike bracelets and a spiked necklace, it is part of his appearance. We met my mom, grandmother and brother at the school so we could all be seated together. My grandmother made a very rude comment to my mother and brother that Trevor should be kicked out of the school for dressing the way he did. I was shocked when I heard that she said that! Trevor is one of the nicest guys anyone will ever meet, why would she say something like that? Later she told me the reasoning was because it sets a bad example for the kids and is disrespectful for the adults. I told her it’s a form of expression; it’s not like telling kids to do drugs! This is what we deal with just about every day!
Let me introduce myself, I am a 22 year old punk with 11 tattoos and 7 piercings. I proudly display my anarchy tattoo during the summer and am glad to share my opinions to those who ask. It seems every day I either get called a name or a rude remark or even get people pointing and whispering to one another. I live in a small town and am not what is considered “normal”. But what is normal anymore? And who decided what normal was going to be, and that anything other and that was wrong? Just because I dress different doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings.
Working at a drive-in restraint one summer I had a very rude customer. He came up to the window and with a smile on my face I asked how I could help him. He had a shocked look on his face. He replied to me with a simple sentence that stabbed me in the heart. “Oh, you speak English?” I was astounded! So just because I had three lip piercings and an eyebrow ring he automatically assumes I cannot speak English?
Walking through the supermarket with Trevor we get the rude parents who pull their kids away from us and tell them to stay away from ‘bad people like them’! What’s so bad about us? We don’t use drugs, we don’t drink and we don’t smoke. So I would like to know why all these parents are saying these things to kids. You don’t see them telling them to stay away from drunks! Even our parents say we should stop dressing the way we do if we do not like the negative comments. Why should I change who I am just to make a few angry people “happy”? They are just looking for something to blame their anger on.
If every person was the same, the world would be a very boring dull place. Everyone likes a variety in their food, work or music. But it is unacceptable to dress different? I am not harming anyone by getting tattoos or piercing my lip. Or even wearing the clothes I wear. I believe people need to open their minds and accept everyone for who they are!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.