My Definition

Sarah - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

My definition of popular: you have a lot of friends who like you for who you are, you feel beautiful, and you love yourself for all the right reasons.

We hear the whispers, the comments, the truths, and the lies. But what are they really? They are the guidelines telling you who you are. My belief is that self confidence and knowing that you are a beautiful person inside and out no matter what, is the key to erasing those lines forever. You should be able to break free from other’s grasp, and learn to fly. As a teenage girl, I know how hard it is to have high self esteem. It’s even harder when there are people around you who give themselves the idea that they are better then others around them. I believe in confidence, and I believe that when you are calling yourself “popular”, you are really just calling yourself desperate. In order to make yourself feel good about yourself, you need to make other people feel bad about themselves.

I know you know those kids, they call themselves popular. I used to think of them like that, but only because that’s the impression that they gave everyone. I didn’t know why I thought that, but it came naturally. Then one day in 6th grade while we were talking about rumors, bullies and other problems that students face, one of the “popular” boys said, “It’s bad if a rumor gets to, like, the popular people, you know”. At that moment, the comment didn’t really even touch me. My self confidence is what told me that that comment was to be expected from him. Then, because of one sentence, my world permanently changed. I had expected the previous comment, but this one took me by surprise. I thought that it was over, but that was just the beginning of the truth. His friend said to him, “but you are popular.” At that point in time, I didn’t know what to think. I mean, I knew some sort of comment about “popular” was coming because of what he said before, but I didn’t know who it would be from or what it would be. If my confidence was at 100% before class, it was now down to 95%. Then, before I could even catch my breath, he said, “I know.” It was as if I had been punched in the gut. I always thought that it was just my opinion that he thought that he was popular, along with that whole group of people, but then reality hit me. I was right. I really wanted to be wrong, but now I realize that even though it hurts, it’s true. They think that they are better then other people in the school, and probably more people outside of school. My confidence then dropped another 15 points, leaving it at a mere 80%.

I guess I never really thought about why some girls hurt themselves to look and act and talk perfectly. Then it hit me. Because of these people, and I’m talking about the “cool” and “popular” girls, the self esteem in other girls everywhere is dropping. That day, when I learned the truth, my self esteem dropped. That is an example of what is going on in schools everywhere. But then, that day when I got home, I dropped my backpack on the floor and reflected on that day’s events.

After that, I looked at myself in the mirror, the one my grandma gave to me when I was just a baby. Those words changed my life forever. But as I stared at myself, I realized something. I am beautiful, my sister is beautiful and my neighbor is beautiful, just like every other person in the world. We are all beautiful. I feel that if everyone started to believe that, then maybe we wouldn’t have the problem of self esteem as great as we have it now. I mean, it not our fault that others decided that they are more beautiful or cooler or more talented or whatever they choose to think. They just feel sorry for themselves, because they do not see themselves as beautiful. It is not our fault that they feel bad, so why should they take their anger out on us? Beauty is not how we look on the outside, but how we think. It is nothing but a state of mind, which is something that I think everyone should know and live by.

When I think about my belief of self esteem and beauty, I start to remember a time when I was unhappy with the way I looked. The only way to make myself feel better was by saying, “Well, the popular girl doesn’t look any better than me, so why should I hide?” I only got comfort from doing the same thing that they were doing. I would think about their flaws, and it would make me feel better. I now know two things from that experience. One; I wasn’t any better than they are. And two; I had low self esteem. I’m sure that’s how other girls feel, and boys too. Just the fact that I used to think like that makes me sick. I want to help those who feel bad, and I will do that with these words. I would like to ask some of the people that think that they are on top some of these questions. Why are you so special? Why do you deserve more attention? Why are you so much better? I think I know the answer to all of those questions, and so does everyone else. It depends on how you are influenced by certain people everyday. And so, my belief has come to be this;

Who are we but the puppets of others around us making us feel bad about ourselves? I feel that the people in our schools that call themselves popular are only calling themselves desperate. Self esteem is almost impossible to keep high, especially when two small words interfere with your thoughts. But, with one look in the mirror, you can realize something. I realized that what I saw was me, the one and only. I knew then at that moment that my life changed because I knew that even though I am not better than anyone else, I know that I am great, because I am me. No one can take that away from me, not even the ones who think that they can. I believe in courage, self confidence, happiness, and that everyone placed on this earth is great. A lot of people are against changing for others, but if you want to change, do it for yourself. Erase the guide lines, and you will be able to soar. That is my definition of “popular”.

This I Believe