To Society

March 26, 2012
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Dear Society,

Everyday I try to be somebody I’m not. I constantly struggle with your perception of the perfect teenage girl. The one who has the perfect bikini body, is tanned to perfection, has the best hair, and the most beautiful eyes. She’s tall and skinny, probably a cheerleader, has twenty best friends, and is Student Council President. She gets what she wants, and is pampered beyond belief. She’ll eat only salads—you’ll never catch her eating a big, fat, juicy hamburger. She’s always in-style: has the best clothes, the cutest dog, and seven million pairs of shoes. She drives a Beamer (it’s a convertible, by the way). Yea, that girl.

You project her through TV, admire her through magazines, and portray her through the radio. She’s the American Dream. You can find her in almost every single Hallmark, Lifetime, and ABC Family movie. She’s smart, gorgeous, outgoing, and charismatic. Everyone wants to be like her. They strive for her perfect bikini body, they’re envious of her hair and her friends; they would kill to be her friend.

Those of us who don’t have that are left alone; left to make friends with the ones that aren’t like her. The heavier ones have eating disorders. The lonelier ones are deemed anti-social, and in your eyes will never be “fit for society.” The short ones are left to shop in the kid’s section because all the stylish clothes are too long or too big. The masculine ones are lesbians to you, because girls should wear dresses and get their nails done in your eyes. Those who eat what they want are disgusting in your eyes. Fat is the word you use.

You cause sadness. You affect the people around you. Your countless numbers of insults, though you don’t know that they are, cause injury to many. You label everyone: gay, lesbian, fat, w****, and s*** are few of the many. You create false pictures of what leads to happiness. You destroy our confidence, our mental stabilities, our worlds. You erase us. We are nothing to you; we cannot exist in your perfect realm. Your false portrayals of what we should be and who we should be are wrong.

You’ve done this for years. You start these false realities before we are even born. Making our parents paint our nurseries Baby Pink, with all the cutest, little frilly dresses. But this isn’t where it stops. You form perceptions on us by showing us what we should look like through our dolls, what we should hope to accomplish by having us play in kitchens. Our Barbie’s are mostly all blond, they have blue eyes, and are always in style for the times. Barbie is perfect to you.

For years, I struggled with wanting the perfect body, having the best clothes, being a part of the popular crowd. Your images of this perfect world, with the perfect people, became my obsession. There was nothing in this world that I would have wanted other than being perfect. I wanted to be Barbie and live her rich and laidback lifestyle, but I learned that I would never be able to achieve this, because being perfect is unachievable. Perfection does not exist; there is no one thing or no one person that is Perfect.

Hello. My name is Paige. I’m five foot six, a hundred and twenty-five pounds, with brown, curly hair, and brown eyes. I play soccer, have one best friend, take a million hard classes in school, and work two jobs. I’ve got two divorced parents, both remarried, with one older sister and one younger brother. I’m a junior in high school, with the dream of going to college right around the corner. I would rather eat a big, fat, juicy hamburger than a miniscule salad. I’ll never wear a dress to school, unless it’s because of a bet I lost.

So criticize me because I’m not your ideal teenage girl. Criticize me for being myself. Criticize me for being original. Frankly, it won’t get you anywhere. You no longer affect me. This is me. I am me. You can’t take that away ever again. I’m happy now. And I’m proud to be who I am, even if that means I won’t be perfect in your eyes.


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