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The Skirt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I will be the first to say that I am not materialistic. My friends label me as a goody-goody; my parents say I am conservative and modest when it comes to clothes. I don’t wear bikinis, and none of my skirts or shorts end above my knees. That is my choice.

So why, why did I feel so tempted? My family and I were in Target, and there it was, waiting. A skirt, specifically designed not to cover anything. It was tan and looked like something one of those anime schoolgirls would wear.

I checked my purse. The skirt cost $10. I had the money. I could buy it. I imagined walking into school and my pals’ jaws dropping. Guys would ask me out, and I would be happy. I could buy it – no, I should buy it.

I showed my mother. She was surprised but said it was my decision. My sister looked on enviously.

I went into the dressing room to try it on. So sure was I that this skirt would change me, somehow make me not what I am but what I wished to be. I slid my jeans off and put it on. Now for the decisive moment. I looked in the mirror. There I was – a geeky girl in a Superman T-shirt and sneakers. My glasses fogged up as I started to cry.

The skirt did not change me. Though it fit well and might make me look good in the eyes of ­today’s world, it was not me. I am not a girl who flirts or wears cool clothes to fit in.

I took the thing off and slid back into the ­comfort of modesty. My mom knocked on the door. “Emily, are you okay?”

I wiped away my tears. “I’m fine.” I looked in the ­mirror again and saw a blond skinny girl with dorky ­glasses and a ponytail. I saw myself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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M-star said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm
Amazing! This definitely has the power to reach people. Great job!
Delictious said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm
I am the same way! I am pretty modest in clothing, like I wear shorts and stuff, but where I get my trouble is I don't wear make-up or perfume or even have my ears pierced.

I've gotten a lot of crap for this too! It's my choice if I want to be a high schooler who doesn't wear make-up, not my fault that most everyone else does. And people think I'm scared to get my ear pierced, when in reality, I just don't see the point. I hate getting, not "bullied" really, but criticized for how I l... (more »)
Laura_Oliver replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm
Yes bar notation
DifferentTeenThis 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. replied...
May 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm
Oh my gosh I know what you mean. But in my school its really cool because a lot of girls don't wear make-up. I'm not going to lie, I wear make-up, have my ears pierced, and I love perfume. But I do all those things because I want to and I independently choose to. And I do things my way, I don't follow trends, I set them! Rock on individuality!
mimirocks124 said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 10:45 am
wow. this piece, short as it is, has more meaning than most long pieces of writing ive read. fantastic job.
Anerio_Deorma said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 2:32 am

I'm a guy, though I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. Society these days is mostly focused on the owtward appearance and, I believe that we as a race have no right to condemn someone to a life of solitude just because they are a geek, or the yplay YU-GI-OH in the morning before school. I swear if ANYONE replies to this post in a bullying manner...heh....heh...heh...


LifeWriteThis 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. replied...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm
I agree with you COMPLETELY and it's awesome that you're a guy and you can still understand the things that many girls go through--it says a lot about who you are!
purplelessskin said...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm
I used to really care about how I looked and stuff, but then I realized that it's not important to me and I don't want to be liked more for the clothes I wear. I had a similar moment to you when I looked back at my school photo. My hair was straightened and I was wearing makeup and thought, 'that's not me.'
purplelessskin said...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Perfect! I wish that more people thought like you.
PeachyKeen2 replied...
Sept. 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm
I agree. Completely. I do not like how the world seems to always need/want to shape and make people into something we are not. I love this peice. So good. So true.
ekoorbsevoluoy said...
Jul. 2, 2011 at 9:26 pm
I love it! I'm glad you decided not to change yourself1
tsinger07 said...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm
I love the ending! We all have that moment when we look in the mirror and have to decide if we can accept what we are, or change ourselves to benefit others. The people who decide to change themsleves are taking the wrong path and it's sad to say that they will be living a lie and insecurity but may never notice it. It's so much more fun just accepting who you are because then that's is when you can truly be happy!
WickedStarcatcher said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm
I love wearing dressy clothes and outfits to school, but have earned some criticsm for my choices. I ADORE wearing dresses and pretty, vintage skirts, but I was onced asked if i was going to a funeral!!!! (Well, later a cute boy told me I looked pretty, so that kind of canceled the comment out) But I just tell people "this is the way I like to dress, so accept it." I love the clothes that I wear and I feel confident when I'm all decked out in my favorite black dress and rainbow necklace :) Thank... (more »)
orangeapple said...
Jun. 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm
I am one of those girls who always had friends who were dresses to perfection. My hair is long and I always wear either long pants or sport shorts that go to my knees. I always try to wear sweatshirts and jackets and dark colored tshirts. I have always felt ugly and fat like I wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. This story made me think reall
bookwormjunkie said...
Jun. 4, 2011 at 8:03 am
i sooo like this!!i mean, whats wrong with being dorky or geeky or nerdy? its SOOOOO much fun being yourself!even if u  are considered mean.
Dia.dreamer123 replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 9:56 am
i know! so totally! i looove this story!! being dorky/weird/different means being yourself and being proud to be you! those popular girls and guys at school...they're so fake!!
alwaysbrokenhearted replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm
yeah they are so fake. the real them is a scared girl covered in five gallons of make up and overly tanned skin. you may look dorky but on the inside you shine like the sun.
f1ndmycure2013 said...
Jun. 4, 2011 at 5:55 am
I am a girl who does wear short skirts, but I don't do it for the benefit of others. I do it because I like how I look. I'm happy with it. Just like your happy wearing longer skirts and shorts. There's nothing wrong with it. That being said, I love your story. Very thought provoking and sincere. :)
maddiefacecupcake said...
May 23, 2011 at 7:01 pm
i loved it! i like that it was just a short blurb, but still shows a lot of feeling and thought. I think that every girl goes through this, wheather she realises it, or gives in to what she's not. and sometimes, it IS who they are, not what they become....
JoPepper said...
May 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm
I'm too scared to wear really short stuff.  Personally I think my legs are a little big.  My mom said they aren't though, plus I feel like everyone's staring at my but.  I hate that feeling.  I think that everyone can relate to your story though.  I really liked it!!! :)
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