Where is the Diversity?

February 7, 2010
By , Edina, MN
Everybody has a different background and life experience, and, for many people, this involves diversity. For me on the other hand, it does not. My lack of diversity stems from where I live, to my school and my group of friends. From the day I was born, I have lived in a sort of bubble in the world where the people and places are all similar and unchanging.

In Edina my whole life is the beginning of my problem with diversity. In my neighborhood, all of the families, at the core, are the same. The dads of the households drive shiny black BMW’s that their wives would never dare touch, while the moms bus half-a-dozen pre-teens around to their blooming social lives in black Suburbans. Meanwhile, it is common to see teens driving around in a newly used compact car, on their way to Southdale. All of the families are from the Midwest and, come spring break, the whole neighborhood can be found soaking up the sun in central Florida. In addition, the lack of diversity extends to race and social economic standing. Every single person who resides on Maple Road has lived there for at least ten years and is a white, upper Middle Class citizen. It’s shameful to admit that from the minute I step out my door, everyone is the same.
My second non-diverse location comes from my all Girls, Catholic high school. To begin, almost everyone looks the same: long hair, skinny, and Caucasian. There is not even diversity with the gender; it is all Girls all the time. In addition, a large amount of the girls are Catholic or their families have some religious affiliation. Everyone works hard and talks about college from the start of freshman year. Our student body non-diversity extends to our after-school hang-out time as well. After the 2:40 announcements, girls head out of class and down the street to their weekly SA run. Besides the fact that everyone wears the same boring, navy uniform, there is also the unchanging “non-uniform” which consists of tall uggs rolled down, with either cute jeans or sweatpants and a black North Face. Being a part of this uniformed group adds to the homogeneous ways of my life.

Thirdly, my close-knit group of friends does not add to the diversity in my life. My best friend, Natalie, has been a piece of my life since I was only a month old. Like myself, Natalie is tall, with long legs and a sharp mind, but she struggles with the lack of adventure and spontaneity in her life. One day Natalie expressed to me,
“Julia, do you ever feel like you are living in a fishbowl and being judged from the outside?” To this, I responded, “Yes, Natalie, I do all the time, but the rest of the world is not like this, so hopefully, when we go off to college, we can experience the acceptance and diversity we are seeking.”
At that moment I realized that my friends also struggle with the challenges of being trapped in a judgmental bubble. Also, three of the girls in my group have been my friends since kindergarten. All of us come from families with two parents who are together and a nice house with plenty of food and material goods to go around. In addition, we all live within a mile of each other and can oftentimes be seen wearing the same clothes and eating the same meals. For the most part, we play the same sports, listen to the same music and read the same books. My friends contribute to my lack of diversity and different cultures in my life.

My whole life I have lived in a bubble of uniformity and to this day, I lack an essential piece of the life experience, diversity. Not only the typical diversity between different races and ethnic backgrounds surrounds me, but also even the simple diversity between cars we drive and the families we live in. Many people in the world thrive in a mixed society. I, on the other hand, am still stuck in a world of uniformity.

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clairebear said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm
i myself live in edina, and can relate to this so much! i hate stepping outside my house and seeing white girls bounce around with so much make up on their eyes. it bothers me, how they rely on their parents hard worked money that they carelessly spend! I myself an indian girl, i can't be me with all of these people depriving me from my real herritage. Lovely article!
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