The Outsider

January 6, 2012
By Jaritza Sostre BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
Jaritza Sostre BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Have you ever noticed that more than half of the models presented to us worldwide are extremely slim, or the fact that high school students are segregated into groups based on popularity? We are pressured to follow the same line of thinking when it comes to specific scenarios. Everyone wants to be alike so they can fit in and not be treated differently, but no matter how hard some of us try we will always be different; instead of trying to stand in, we should embrace the in differences we have.

For the majority of my life I've been trying my best to fit into society; just be the same as everyone else surrounding me so I would not be noticed. However, I have realized that this is impossible. Every individual is different in appearance and personality. I have been trying to fit into society’s quota to the best of my ability when in reality I should have really been embracing my own identity.

My earliest childhood memories are of me striving to be like everyone else in appearance. I strongly disliked my scars. They were ugly and they made me look hideous. As soon as I learned the magical wonders of makeup, I was grateful for the creator of it, and I used it every day to cover the scars on my neck. The cruel comments from ignorant children made me ashamed of how I looked. I had my own insecurities about my scars although only one was constantly visible to everyone else.

In elementary school, I sounded like a duck when I spoke. This made me want to keep quiet for the whole year. Nevertheless, with time and therapy my speech improved tremendously. At that age I thought speech therapy was absolute torture. I was pulled out of classes to repeat words I could not pronounce and the therapist would constantly tell me I was wrong, as if I did not already know. If I was not home I did not like to speak because I always had to repeat myself. Nobody understood me more than my parents did.

I was always filled with anger and as I got older I bottled up all my anger. It was difficult trying to fit in when I was so different, and there was not anyone who could relate to me. I felt as if that was the past and I should not have to pay for it my whole life; especially since that was something I had no hand in choosing. Nevertheless, I felt as if there was really nobody else to blame but myself for being born the way I was.

At birth I was diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a congenital condition of facial abnormalities. This was the root of all my problems; it was impossible to be normal if I was not born normal. Pierre Robin Sequence was the reason why I had suffered from the children's ignorant outbursts, my scars, and an inability to speak. It was the reason I had numerous surgeries which resulted in me having a feeding tube when I was younger and the speaking valve that appeared in every baby picture.

It was never clear to me why I was born this way, and it only seemed to get worse with time but now I'm actually okay with being different. What distinguishes me from everyone else is what I feel inside and my experiences; not the clothes I wear, nor the music I listen to. I have come to the conclusion that beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Now as a senior in high school I can say that the experiences I have faced have positively impacted the person I am today. Moreover, instead of yearning to be like everyone else, I reveal all that I was ashamed of , and strongly embrace my differences.

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