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"Declaration" of Expression This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     When in the course of adolescence, it becomes vital forone person to release the societal chains which have knotted them toauthoritative figures, and to perceive, among the powers of the earth, theseparate and yet equal position to which the laws of nature and MTV entitle them,a genuine acknowledgement of the opinions of mankind denotes that I shoulddeclare the causes which impel me to the separation.

As an infant, aperson is restrained behind wooden bars, fed almost hourly, bathed regularly andentertained mildly for innumerable years. Weaned into a hopeful state ofnormalcy, compelled to reach a carbon-copied future, an infant matures.Aspirations are meant to include a Colonial-style home, white picket fence, 2.5children and Disney-like qualities.

Upon reaching adolescence many testsubjects take a turn. They beat upon their now-steel bars, attempt to climb fromtheir pens, and scream for clemency and sanctuary in the same breath. Four wallsclose in, their previous job description changed, and impel the prisoner to stayin this cube. Every once in a while he or she is released - to eat, to move, tograsp sporadically at freedom, yearning to experience, to feel, toexpress.

The enclosure is perceived as justified. Teenagers are forevercaptives of their parents, the schools, the system. If they yell, no one hears.If they dress a certain way, they are not normal. If they listen to a certaintype of music, something is wrong with their ears. The oppressor tells them it iswrong, society views them as errors, flaws in the road map of mankind, a glitchin the matrix, because they lack a category.

These actions, thoughts, aperceived rebellion against normalcy, are an attempt to convey the inside to theoutside, but for these crimes we are imprisoned. I am kept in the highchair ofdespair, angrily throwing my peas on the floor. These bars, denying access to theoutside and light, were acceptable. Oddly, the teenage masses have one question:What is normal, anyway? A term used loosely by authoritative figures to justifytheir erroneous actions?

Due to the affirmation, teenagers, and I astheir voice, declare the following to crystallize our stand:

We havethe right to feel unabashedly, fearlessly and without fear of oppression, theweight of normalcy.

We have the right to find our own American Dream byway of experience and choice.

We have the right to determine what isright or wrong, and not have our futures dictated.

We have the right tolaugh, cry, scream and burn with passion because it is innate in ourbeing.

We have the right to dye our hair red, blue and pink, to wearclothes twice our size and listen to music twice as loud.

We have theright to express ourselves via music, clothes or speech without the threat ofunpopular unacceptance.

We have the right to go against the grind just tosee if the grind is set at the right level, insuring each generation to come morefreedom of expression.

We have the right to use our voices to speak to themasses, to write, to draw, to paint.

Society has called us losers withoutdreams or direction. Society has said we are lost and wandering in the deep, darkvalleys of our own confusion. Society has said we are not normal and thereforeshould be modified to fit the status quo. Teenagers, the color, the dash ofspice, the abnormal, give life to an otherwise dead society.

We, theunappreciated representatives of our world, demand sanctuary. The oppressorshould allow the people the right to no longer rattle their cages and tear attheir bars. The anthem, heard from every rooftop, radiating from every pair ofbaggy pants and yelled over a range of loud music, must ring the words of aDeclaration of Expression.




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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