False Images

December 11, 2008
By Alyson Browder, Norwalk, IA

You might think you know me, but you don’t. You see me and immediately try to choose my label. I’m a goth. A girl with black hair laden in royal blue streaks, wearing stud jewelry and a choker necklace. I glance up with my bright green eyes and take you in. I don’t care what you think of me and my studded biker boots, my favorite accessory. I don’t care if you don’t approve of my Tripp pants, or my band t-shirts. Deal with it.
Or I could be a nerd. The girl in the front seat in class, holding onto every phrase the teacher says. Writing notes as if they’ll never be spoken again and every detail has to be recorded just right. Staying after class to ask questions I already know the answers to, and sitting in the library on my free time, nose buried in the new adventure of a novel.
But maybe you see me as a prep. One of those girls who struts down the hall with a stuck up nose, not caring whose feelings I hurt, so long as I get the attention in the end. I break hearts for the fun of it, and suck up to anyone with an ounce of popularity. Instead of saving money for important things I buy the latest pair of hundred dollar jeans, covered in pre-made holes and faded denim.
Maybe I’m black, maybe I’m white, or Hispanic, or Asian. You don’t know. You never will. You don’t know who I am, or what I’ve been through. You haven’t seen what my eyes have seen, or dealt with what I’ve had to deal with. You can’t judge me until you’ve lived my life in my shoes. You may think you have a good idea, but you don’t. I’m a goth, an emo, a prep, a jock, a nerd, a teacher’s pet, a wannabe, a rebel. I’m whatever you label me, in your eyes. But you see a false image. Because no matter what label you choose, you can never decide who I really am, because I am me. Deal with it.

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