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Teen Individuality

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A teen girl dares to wear a funky outfit to school that does not consist of skinny jeans, Uggs, or anything from Aeropostale. Her peers ask, 'What the heck are you wearing?', but she smiles and feels confident about her look. A 15-year-old boy who is quite popular and the captain of the basketball team has a secret passion for writing poetry. Even though his friends think poetry is nerdy, the boy continues to write his lyrical words and shares them with others. This girl and boy have something in common: they both show signs of individuality.

Being an individual is easy to want, but hard to attain. Teens nowadays only want to fit in, not to stand out. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines individuality as 'total character peculiar to and distinguishing an individual from others'. Being an individual is described as 'peculiar'. Not many people want to feel peculiar. They want to feel normal, just like everybody else. Individuality is a wonderful thing, though, that can only be accomplished by loving yourself.

'There's room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there isn't.' That quote was said by Tori Amos, and it is so true. There's no room on this earth for another lackadaisical Joe Schmo. When everybody wears the same clothes, has the same hairstyle, talks about the same things, and has the same beliefs, all the kids in the school hallway just blend together into one blob of boredom. That is why individuality is so important. No one wants to live a totally predictable life.

No one who hates themselves will be a true individual. If you dislike yourself, why on earth would you want others to dislike you for being diiferent? Someone who loves themselves and embraces their flaws will achieve being an individual. If you are confident about yourself, you can feel comfortable standing out. You can glow from within, as if saying to the world: Here I am! This is me, and I'm going to shine. You may not dress in popular clothes, you may not have the new iPhone, and you might be a huge geek that joined math club, but it's okay. You can be yourself without worrying about others. Who really gives a crap what they think? Most likely, they're jealous because they are not strong enough to be an individual.


Flaws should be seen as a blessing, not a curse. They remind us that we are all human, and not being good at something gives others who are good at it a chance to shine. There will always be some people who don't care to be different; who just conform every time a trend changes. But you don't have to be one of those people. You can stand out, feel proud, and be a true individual. Be peculiar and distinguish yourself from others. And always remember this: "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring." (Marilyn Monroe)




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This article has 52 comments. Post your own!

TheKingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:18 am:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss 
 
Amanda B. replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 4:24 am :
Ha ha, I've always loved that quote!
 
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Ibrahim43 said...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm:
What issue/month was this article out, I'd like the copy write aswell.
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm :

This was not in the Teen Ink magazine.

 

 
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Brooklynn said...
Nov. 26, 2010 at 9:43 pm:
i think that maybe this had a good theory but you basically sterotyped anyone who wears Aeropostale or Hollister as being a nobody. No not everyone wears those brands, but that does not make them an individual. In the beggining you said that your clothes should not define who you are, but by saying people who wear these brands are not individuals. Your contradicting yourself.
 
mania replied...
Nov. 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm :

i actully like this poem i can feel it

 

 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 7:39 am :
Maybe it is worded badly but what I am trying to say is that you shouldn't wear brands just because other people think they are cool. If you like current trends, then by all means wear them. If you don't like them, don't force yourself to conform to them. Yes, you are more than what your clothes portray you as. But some people use their clothing as a large means of expressing their individuality. I understand what you are saying, but that is not what this essay is trying to get across.
 
Aspiringauhor replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 9:28 am :
Actually, my favorite store is Abercrombie, and everyone in my grade knows who I am because I am not afraid to speak my mind. I am the picture of individuality, and yet I look and act like a normal teen. So, yes, I agree with this article, but at the same time think there are exceptions (i.e., me). :)
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm :
Yes, I agree that people can look average and still be an individual. Some people look different and are not necessarily individuals.
 
Aspiringauhor replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm :
Exactly. :)
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm :
For me, I don't like trendy clothes and I like to express myself through unusual clothing. But that's just me. Some trends I like, some I don't. If some people like all the current trends then that's cool.
 
Aspiringauhor replied...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm :
For example, jeggings? I hate them. But they were the latest trend. I only shop at the "trendy" stores because I think they have cute clothes. And not to be mean or anything, but why am I feeling like I somehow need to prove myself to these people I don't know?
 
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Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 26, 2010 at 1:55 am:
You know that the word "peculiar" doesn't always have negative connotations, right?

And what's wrong with buying brands? True individuality lies outside of what you wear. 
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 7:33 am :

Being peculiar is awesome! To me. I am saying that a lot of people would not want to be peculiar because they think it is a bad thing.

There is nothing wrong with buying brands but I am trying to say that you shouldn't wear trends you don't like just because they are in style.

 
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anonymous said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm:
what i dnt understand is how we want to be ourselves in school(uniforms) but countinue to talk about people when we all have almost the same thing just cause it dosnt have a brand name doesnt mean anything it still covers our bodies
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm :
So are you saying that you like this article or not? I'm confused. . .
 
anonymous replied...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm :
yes and i understand the concept
 
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm :
Okay, good :)
 
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Tyler B. said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm:
you write well and your ability to say what you mean to say, is a gift. write. 
 
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TheMusicalFaery said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm:
Fabulous piece, I love it! I don't think anyone I know would disagree if I said I'm an individual... I wasn't always, though. I've lived wanting to be like everyone else, and to be frank, it stinks. You're constantly worrying what others think of you, and it's incredibly stressful. But I finally accepted that I am different, and now I take pride in the differences I used to be ashamed of! (Actually, I just submitted a piece called 'To Be Different' a day or two ago that talks about that. I'm sti... (more »)
 
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