Outside or inside, what makes a person?

Nicole - Maple Grove, Minnesota
Entered on November 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

What do you think of when you see a person wearing all black? Do you think Goth, or Emo? When you look at how someone appears on the outside, you often get a glimpse into what his/her personality is like, but sometimes that is not “really” how he is. I am sure that most people have been subject to being falsely judged by their peers or have been the instrument of false judgment. Some people dress different every day like I used to do. I used to dress based on my moods; one day if I was feeling happy and upbeat I would be dressed up in a pink skirt. When I was feeling mad or just having a bad day I would be dressed in black pants with black makeup on. My clothes were affected by my mood. However most people did not see this, and I was called a poser. When people sit down and get to know me, they find out that I dress for my mood not because I’m trying to make a statement. People who don’t take the time to get to know a person and just judge them by their appearance are in my opinion shallow and self centered. Everyone should be allowed to dress the way that he/she wants and we all have the right to not be judged. I feel that judging others just on the outside appearance is something that not only hurt the other person but also makes the person doing the judging look self centered and unintelligent, because they do not look past the other skin of a person.

When I was in high school I was the kind of person who liked many different styles, in my wardrobe I had all types of clothes. On each day I could have fit into many different groups of people however no one understood that my clothes did not define me. I was the same person no matter what clothes I was wearing. This type of attitude excluded me from other people and made me feel bad about myself, I wondered if something was wrong with me when in fact what was wrong was the other people, they were defining the person based on what they wore, not on what their personality was like. This hurt me because I was the victim of judging that excluded me from many different people.

The overall picture is this, judging someone because of what they wear, not who they are; is self-centered and unintelligent. This type of attitude gains the judger nothing and only hurts the other person, I should know. I believe it is who you are inside, your interests your beliefs and values that makes you who you are. The clothing is only a way of expressing yourself. The next time you see a person who is dressed a little different take some time to stop and look at them, you may find a whole new person who you can become friends with.