This I Believe

Stephanie - Alpharetta, Georgia
Entered on October 22, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Why is it that we live in a society where non-conformity is frowned-upon? Although people may say that America stands for individualism, when I look around, it’s hard to find it. Everyday when I walk into school, I see people standing in groups. On the left there are the preps, and over to the right, those are the emo kids, and so on and so forth. It’s awful that so many people are categorized by what clothes they wear or how much money they have. This form of judgment doesn’t just happen in schools, it happens everywhere.

Every morning I wake up at 6:45 to get ready for school. After I get out of the shower, do my hair, and put on my make-up, I step into my closed and spend what seems like forever trying to pick out an outfit. It’s horrible that I have fallen into the mindset of conformity, but in high school, it’s hard to think anything different. I have become so worried about what others think of me that I have forced myself to conform.

At school, a person who is an individual is often made fun of or picked on. It pains me to say this, but I have found myself talking negatively about the way others dress. The truth is I am jealous of how comfortable they are with their individuality and how they don’t care about what other people think of them. Why do people care so much about what other’s thin? When did it become okay for one person to judge another person?

I live in a city where there are a lot of wealthy families. Since most of the kids at my school come from those wealthy families, they often judge people on how much money they have. Everything is very materialistic, and I continuously feel like I fall into that trap. Everything always has to be “the best,” but it always seems like nothing’s good enough. Some of the students at school are so concerned about their appearances and their reputations that they lose focus on what’s really important, like they’re school work.

Even by watching a TV show or a movie, I can see that our society has become too obsessed with image and conformity. I believe that people need to resist conformity. No one should be afraid to express themselves. Whether a person expresses themselves through their clothes, artwork, writing, etc. it’s their choice. This is what I believe.