Teen Individuality

February 11, 2009
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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 54 comments. Post your own now!

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. 
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 »)
SpringRayyn said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm
I so wish I could have courage to be individual, but I seem to be cursed with this perpetual normalness!!!
Medina D. said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm

i was different last year. i got severly tormented. the worst year of life.

True, individuality is important but when u go to a school like mine, u cover it up

Macx14 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm
I've never worn Uggs or Aeropostale, I write, read old books, play piano, sing oldies instead of modern pop, don't eat meat, and watch older movies. I've always been like that. If people start to realize your security with your differences and get used to the fact that you're not found every day, they start to respect and value that about you. Remember-be yourself. The people who don't mind matter, and the people who mind don't matter. Good job!!
you_are_awesome said...
May 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

This article is great!!

i really really dont see the point in being normal and boring. being normal is being nothing.

but i think that every normal person is an individual we're all just too scared of each other to show it.


penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm
Thank you! :)
musiclover94 said...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm
You really know what you're talking about! I just wanted to add that if a person likes the things that are popular at the time, there's no reason not to get them. However, doing it just to blend in is ridiculous. I love being an indiviual and being peculiar is the best part! :)
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm
Yeah, I know. If I really like a popular trend, I'm not going to not wear it just so I don't look like everyone else. For example, I love UGG boots. Everyone else wears them and sometimes I feel so boring, but I like them. I'm not wearing them to fit in.
Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 30, 2010 at 4:40 am
I feel the same way about music. I like popular and unpopular music. When I listen to the popular music, it doesn't mean I'm doing it to fit in. I'm doing it because it's good music.
Giraffe2234 said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm
i love the last two paragraphs. your words are very strong and powerful. i hope you continue to write.
penguin35 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm
Thank you so much. And I am continuing to write. I write almost every day.
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 28, 2009 at 8:42 pm
Good Job. This is very true. All too often, walking through the hallways, I see everyone wearing the same thing, with HOLLISTER blaring down the side of their size-0 t-shirts. It seems that people only buy clothes for the brand name. Be proud of who you areââ€ž
jaymishae replied...
Jul. 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm
i love this article. some friends and i were just talking about this today and we were all saying how no one ever stands out. I think its awesome how you put yourself into your writing as well. it shows your individuality. some people are a boring blob when they write, but your not. like i said, loved it, and keep on writing.
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