This I Believe

Carissa - Papillion, Nebraska
Entered on December 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: prejudice
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Everyone has heard the saying “Never judge a book by it’s cover”. Despite the fact that every person has heard this, we still don’t hold it in our minds. Judging someone based on appearances is misleading, as well as damaging to others. It’s very easy to assume that someone dressed in pink clothing, with bleached hair is shallow or ditsy. It’s easy to look at someone with huge baggy pants and see a delinquent. It’s not only clothes that we judge people with. People treat each other differently based on the color of their skin, gender, and beauty also. I believe we should be blind to any physical difference. We should only see each other as human beings.

I went through about a three year phase when everything I wore was black. I had the big, black, baggy pants, with chains and a good amount of pockets. I faced many difficulties because of my style of clothing. My best friend’s parents absolutely hated me. The very day met me they looked at how I was dressed and decided I must be a trouble maker. They didn’t even give me a chance and basically I was deemed a Satanist. It certainly hurt me and made it very hard to spend time with my friend.

When I was in seventh grade I dyed my hair blue. I distinctly remember being in a stall in the girls bathroom and hearing a couple girls talking about “the freak who dyed her hair blue”. I was very angry with this remark but now that I look back on it, I didn’t have much right to be. I saw groups girls all wearing the same shade of baby blue and light yellow. I thought, wow, it’s a like a mini cult with matching uniforms. I hate that group because they look all the same. Now I look around and see big groups of kids all wearing the same thing; big, baggy, black pants, with chains. I had no right to judge them just because they all liked the same colors, and they shouldn’t have judged me by the color of my hair.

In eleventh grade I rediscovered color. It was amazing how many people treated me differently just because of the color of my clothes. People started more conversations with me, I got more respect from parents and teachers, and I received a million more smiles in the hallways. I do not see the point of people accepting one person and disregarding another because of clothing, as well as any other difference. People should never restrict themselves from others based on appearances.

People should stop hurting each other and themselves because of how we appear or who we are. It’s damaging not only to who is analyzed without a chance, but who is judging. There are many stories waiting to be heard, and many lessons to be learned from others who different. This is why I believe that we should never judge people by differences like the color of their skin, as well as the color of their clothes.