Finding Confidence in Spite of Discrimination

June 2, 2017

 As I grow up and mature as a 16 year old girl, I realize that this world we live in is cold and dark at times. I have been discriminated against myself. I have discriminated against in sports and school. I have my own story to tell. Since I was in 6th grade to now I have been in prejudicial  situations. A matter of fact, it all started my first year of middle school, 6th grade. The first day of middle school I felt scared and alone but I’m sure that’s normal. It wasn’t just a sense of loneliness because I didn’t know many people; it was the sense that I was being judged and that no one really wanted to talk to me. I wasn’t the typical middle school girl; I dressed differently. I dressed very athletically and wore a T-shirt and basketball shorts just about every day at school. At first, I saw nothing wrong with myself or what I would choose to wear, but as the year went on I was getting called “Manria”. I thought it was some kind of joke or pun because of my name being “Maria,” but it turns out everyone was just segregating me and calling me out for the way I looked and dressed. I was being discriminated against because of who I was and what I wore. From this situation in middle school, I had turned into a person I was not proud of. I had developed habits such as stress eating. I gained weight from this which didn’t help my situation for the better. I wanted to be a better person for myself and to be proud of my body image. Someday everyone needs to understand that no matter what you do, who you are, how you look, or how you dress, someone will always have something negative to say and will find a way to leave you out. Understanding that this will happen to everyone at some point can help us all find a way to overcome it.

 As my middle school years went by, I had changed myself. I had changed myself for me and my own happiness and self confidence, not for what others had to say about me. I had changed the way I dressed, I wore makeup to school, I straightened or curled my hair before school, but more importantly, I made an effort for me and stopped caring so much about how others saw me. I am now a sophomore in high school. People are cruel and I see it everyday: kids discriminating other kids for how they look or dress, teachers discriminating kids for their race or gender, kids discriminating kids for their sexuality, or even teachers discriminating against other teachers. No matter how young or old, discrimination is a problem.

 For as long as I shall live I will never ever truly understand the reasoning behind this term. What is so bad about other people wanting to be themselves? Why can’t others dress or be who they want without being harassed? Why does gender matter? Why does sexuality matter? Why does ethnicity and culture matter? Why does race matter? I will forever ask myself these questions and more. We, people, are all created equally no matter who we are, what we do, or where we come from. It may seem that some people are above some of us, but truly we all originated equally. We are all human and no human is perfect. No one deserves the feeling of being discriminated against. Stop putting labels on people.

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