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Conformist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It's amazing how one wordcan affect me. When someone accuses me of being a conformist - whetherthey are joking or not - their words spiral deep into my heart. I do notappreciate someone telling me I have no thoughts, ideals or dreams of myown. Instead, they say, all my ambitions are based on those of others.And how are these assumptions made? Simply by how I dress and who myfriends are. Passing judgment is all the issue of conformity is basedon, after all. How can someone look at me and, just because I am trendy,assume I have no free will? Noticing the soft curl of my hair orlistening to my endless trickle of laughter, they assume that all I careabout is my appearance, that I have little intelligence or don't long tobe something in life. Judging me by my appearance is not even scratchingthe surface of who I am. That's what I want to say to people who believeI am a conformist. I want to tell them there is a whole world inside methey are missing because they merely look at me and assume they don'twant to be a part of it.

They won't care when I tell them this.They will just spit my words back, oblivious to the fact that theirssear my soul and eat away at my already-tenuous self-esteem. They don'tknow that who they perceive me as - the bubbly girl whose only goal isto fit in - is really confused and searching her soul. I don't long forthe admiration and approval of everyone, you see. I just want certainpeople to realize I am me - not a product of those who surround me. Theywon't listen, though, I know this without a doubt. They never do.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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