Why fit in when you were born to stand out? This quote is often attributed to Dr. Seuss, though many on the Google claim that he never actually said it. Regardless, it’s a good question to ask yourself.
I didn’t like middle school (some of you might refer to it as “junior high”). Looking back, I didn’t even like the person I was during middle school. I would argue that those are the worst years of a person’s life (or at least in the running for topping that classification), and pretty much everyone is trying to figure out how to act and what to say in this weird thing we call life. Nobody is actually “cool,” but far too many people think they are.
And middle school kids can be mean—like, really mean.
I remember feeling like I was constantly being judged (and I probably was). It didn’t matter if you were the most popular kid or the kid you thought nobody actually paid attention to—you felt like everyone was watching your every move to make sure that what you did was acceptable.
I’d now like to recount some memories about Doc Martens and Tommy Hilfiger. I need to preface these tales with the fact that I don’t actually really like either of these brands. I don’t have anything against them, but I simply don’t care for them. They don’t make anything that truly strikes my fancy. Yet, for some reason or another, I had to wear their stuff.
Doc Martens became super trendy when I was in the sixth grade. (They might actually be a thing again, but I’m not hip enough to know, so I’m only referring to them as if they’re a thing of the past.) They were these huge clunky boots that were WAY too pricey, but everyone had them. Thus, that meant that I needed a pair. Did I actually want a pair of these particular shoes? I mean, I guess I did at the time simply because they were the “in” footwear, but I don’t think that they actually appealed to me. No offense to anyone who wears them or to you, Doc, but I think they’re kind of ugly, actually. But I convinced my parents that I needed to have these shoes. We didn’t have a ton of money when I was growing up, so I feel rather guilty now that I begged my parents to buy me shoes that I didn’t need or even truly think were that great.
Then there was Tommy Hilfiger. Let’s be real—TH is better for the fellas. Again, if you like wearing this line of apparel, keep doing you, girl. When I was in sixth grade (and maybe seventh, too), Tommy Hilfiger collared shirts suddenly became super popular to wear. They were boys shirts, but all of the girls wore them, too. Again, this was not a brand that I could even afford, but I simply had to have shirts with some silly logo on them. (WHY was I so ridiculous?)
I think what upsets me most about my fashion choices is that they weren’t me. Instead, I was just trying to fit in with the people around me because I thought that it was what I was supposed to do. You know what I have learned in my many years since those horridly awkward days? It’s so much better to be myself rather than to try to be like everyone else.
Because being independent and unique is beautiful.
What you wear compared to what the people around you wear doesn’t matter. What they think of you doesn’t matter. What they might say about you doesn’t even matter. What matters is what you think of yourself and what you say about yourself. What matters is how you love yourself so that you can love and learn to be loved by others, as well.
You are a gem. Don’t ever forget that. Rather than trying to fit in with this world, go stand out as the one-of-a-kind creation you were always meant to be.