By Erendy Torres | Staff Writer |
I am tired of hearing “be yourself, be authentic.” It is such a fake statement.
Although most people say that being original is the best thing you can do for yourself in order to live a free and peaceful life, they don’t really mean it. Being different is actually frowned upon.
Being unique doesn’t make you authentic. It can make you seem as an outcast and a freak in the eyes of society.
However, to deny and conceal our uniqueness is an offense and betrayal to ourselves.
Society has created an image of what “normality” should look and be like: casual attire, polished hair, and proper behavior.
Although this “requirement” seems to be the best way to go, there are hundreds of people who do not live comfortably this way. Some people want to break free from societal expectations.
Take a look at Miley Cyrus, for instance, she portrayed a “normal” girl, but that wasn’t who she really was.
She was stuck in a fake role in which people expected docile behaviors and attitudes from her.
Old Cyrus, with her long luscious hair and smokey eye-shadow, was accepted and considered “normal,” based upon society’s physical and behavioral norms.
Now that she has stepped out and become the person she wants to be, shaved head, funky attire, and all, society views her as an odd, ugly, classless woman. Do they have a right to stereotype her that way?
Of course, but only based on our cultural expectations. Regardless, they don’t have the right to judge or make her feel any less valued as a person.
The rejection and nonacceptance of society makes people hide in their shells.
This is why we have so many unique, hidden talents and personalities. Most people that go through this problem would rather conceal their true identities than be judged by others.
“[Masks] are elements of the false self and enable one to gain the acceptance of other people,” stated Oliver Cooper in the article, “True Self: Why Do Some People Hide Their True Self?”
It is human nature to disguise certain characteristics of ourselves in order to fit in; however, keeping up with the lie only causes us to lose ourselves.
“One may have worn one type of mask for their whole life and this means that they may not even realize that they are wearing a mask. It has become so much a part of their life, that is has gone unnoticed,” continued Cooper.
This is why not many people stand out any more. Most of us look, act, and talk the same. Let’s face it. Even though we claim to not care what others think, we do.
We live for acceptance and status. We don’t value ourselves.
In my case, during my high school years, I pretended to be someone I wasn’t.
I hung out with the wrong crowd and made wrong decisions because I wanted to fit in. I even dumbed myself down.
I pretended to be dumb because I thought it was cute. Is it? Hell no. It’s stupid.
In reality, I like reading, staying at home, and watching documentaries. I collect pajamas, cat mugs, I am a nerd and hands down a cat lady, but I like who am I and who I have become.
For most people, my persona would be considered lame or boring, but I have learned not to care about other peoples’ opinions and perceptions of me.
Most people lie when they claim to accept and embrace originality.
They argue that you will be loved and accepted by who you are, but the moment you change, they judge, and turn against you.
There is no win-win situation. Either you seek acceptance by following the crowd or you live the way you wish to live and be judged by the crowd.