The Definition of Me

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Ever since birth you have grown up mimicking others, following your parents lead and wanting to be just like them. Eventually you become a teenager, having to make your own decisions and it becomes unclear, the person you want to be, all the while, fearful .of branching out, discovering who you are and forming your own opinions as an individual. You look up to role models and follow trends that change with the setting sun. You disguise yourself into an impersonation of someone your not and it comes to the point where you can’t recognize the real you, the magnificent child God created. “It is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for something your not,” said Andre Gide. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli, opened my eyes and allowed me to see beyond what is considered “normal.”

The novel is based on a teenage girl named Stargirl, who upon entering Mica High School, is seen as an outcast. The students notice her brightly colored, funky clothes, Ucalaly, and her pet rat. Immediately, they start to judge her and describe her as weird. The reader isn’t given much insight into Stargirl’s home life until future chapters, allowing us to form our own opinions about her. By writing this book, I think the author’s main point was to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. At school, Stargirl was a quiet, reserved girl that kept to herself and didn’t really blend with the rest of the kids. However, most everyone thought of Stargirl as weird, even though they had never even spoken to her. How is it possible to judge someone if you don’t know who they truly are? You cannot, it is impossible.

Stargirl changed my opinion on how I should act, when being me. I learned that you do not need to do, or not do things just because you are afraid about others will think or how they will treat you later. You shouldn’t worry about what others will say. . . Stargirl didn’t. Stargirl kept singing “Happy Birthday” in the lunchroom despite the thousands of crazy looks, given to her by her own student body. Dr. Seuss once said, “People who mind don’t matter and people who matter don’t mind.” This means that people will accept you for who you are. If someone doesn’t accept you for the real you, then they aren’t worth much as a friend, their priorities are mixed up and they won’t become part of your bigger picture. Stargirl befriended Leo, who for his own sake tried to turn Stargirl into what he called “normal”. I have realized that I need to just be me and do my thing, live my life!

Aside from the story’s theme about being “you”, it really highlights how stereotypical people are or become, when faced with something or someone different from them. Everyone at Mica High School is shocked to see Stargirl as a cheerleader because they don’t think of her as the “cheerleading” type, when in reality; Stargirl is the one with the most spirit! She creates her own cheers and dances that stun the fans. No one knew Stargirl’s true abilities! They thought that only the pretty, preppy girls who wore name-brand could cheerlead . . . boy, they had a rude awakening! Shortly after Stargirl’s performance, the rest of the cheerleading squad wants to be like her! They begin dressing like her and tried to make unique dances like Stargirl’s. Stargirl had become the trendsetter; people wanted to be like her. She was a true leader and changed all the students’ outlook on normalcy.

Stargirl taught everyone a huge lesson just by being a first-rate version of herself from day one. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” stated e. e. Cummings. Stargirl had gobs of courage and she killed every bully with kindness. She was unique, she was herself, for everyone knows, “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”(Raymond Hull) This wonderful book has broadened my horizon and taught me a major life lesson. From now on, I want to strive to be me, Alanna Maria Battistini, the only girl born on May 14, 1996 to Maria and Richard Battistini. It blows my mind to think of the effect Stargirl had on everyone at her school and also made me question what “normal” really is. Is “normal” really that important, or is it just what we make it out to be?”





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