A Second Look This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

At first glance, I look like another stereotypical teenager, with my baggy pants and their gazillions of pockets, a long-sleeved shirt under a short-sleeved one, ear pierced and spiked hair that looks like I just got up. This is what anyone sees when they look at me in the mall or on the streets. Most of the time, people who walk by avoid even making eye contact and take the farthest route around me, all to stay away from a kid who is on the student council and the honor roll.

How red their faces would be if they saw me giving a report on the economic growth of the country, or having a conversation with a teacher in Spanish. These people feel safer walking away from the kid who looks like he has just gotten out of bed than saying hi or smiling.

This proves what a sad world we live in. People should be judged on their intelligence and personality, but a majority only care about what you look like, because everyone knows that the kid with the ring through his nose can't have the sense of a mashed potato. Just because a person likes wearing pants around his or her knees doesn't make that person more likely to grow up and become a drug addict or criminal. I feel sorry for those who base everything on appearances.

It's not just adults, though. Other kids try to avoid me, too. This suggests that their parents teach them to stay away from kids with funny hair and clothes. This is another sad fact - the bad habits of one generation are passed to the next. Instead of passing on these bad habits, we should be trying to fix them.

Rather than running away from the kid with the baggy clothes and pierced ear, try to get to know him first. If he turns out to be a total freak, then run and hide. If he turns out to be a nice, intelligent guy, ask him for help with your homework or see if he likes to play basketball. As the saying goes, "Don't judge a person by their hair color."

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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The tTeacher said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 8:28 am
My students and I read your article. We agree that people shouldn't judge you based on how you look. We see some kids dress freaky just for attention and some who were never that way change and become freaky. We stay away from them because they've turned into unusual kids. We stay away to let them be who they are.
We like to hear that you are doing well in school! Stay on that honor roll!!
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