Month: June 2014

They Always Tell You to “Be Yourself”

Jackie Kennedy, known for her grace and…”

“Audrey Heprburn, a timeless fashion icon who exhibited elegance and sophistication…”

“Marilyn let men chase after her, and it was seldom ever the…”

Her big brown eyes looked sadly over at the television screen. She was nursing a twisted ankle, the results of her efforts in trying to help her mother clean the floors.

“Blossom, are you alright?” her mother had asked her earlier. She was lying on the floor, wet from the soapy water, and was mentally scolding herself for being, yet again, so careless. “Just go to your room.”

As Blossom headed to her room, she could hear her mother’s faint mumbling. “…this girl can’t do anything right.”

And she knew it was true: she couldn’t do anything right. Not even simple house chores.

The documentary on TV about the most admired and beautiful women in history began to wane out, now just a simple slideshow of the women’s achievements with some sentimental background music. Blossom looked at the clock: 7:58 PM. It was almost ending anyways.

She leaned against her bed, her eyes still on the television screen. She wanted, so desperately, to be that elegant, that classy and sophisticated. She recalled a girl who her mother had pointed at school, who she’d labeled as “pretty, natural, classy”.

That girl who her mother had pointed out had actually been one of the most popular girls in school. Not for her looks or her chest size or whatever. It was her intelligence that did it, the way she interacted with people, and the way she presented herself. Beauty is only skin deep, after all. Blossom would observe her, taking note of how she acted, in the hopes that she, too, could become that well composed and intriguing.

Because Blossom was none of the things that she wanted to be. She wasn’t graceful like Jackie, instead being a complete klutz and was falling and tripping left and right, hardly ever taking notice of precautions or consequences or any of that stuff.

She was far from Audrey’s elegance. Blossom’s idea of a comfortable outfit literally consisted of shorts and a loose T-shirt. She loved her worn-out sneakers and secretly loathed getting dressed up and wearing makeup. She hated heels. She even hated ballet flats.

And don’t get her started on her dating life. “Let the boys chase you”? Please. She loved the chase. She loved being the one to go after what she wanted, thinking of ways she could win him over. She wasn’t patient or coy enough to have it be the other way around. Why wait for something that you could make happen yourself? She would think.

Blossom was an interesting girl. She liked laughing loud and showing emotions. She enjoyed being 30% tomboy and acting like a kid. She loved getting overly excited about the smallest things in life. That’s who she is.

But the thing is, she doesn’t like who she is.┬áThat’s not who she wants to be. She wished that she could be less clumsy, more apt, smarter, and that she could actually strut in ballet flats without looking like a duck waddling at the park.

All throughout elementary school, all throughout those awkward teenage years, they always tell you to “be yourself”. But what if you don’t like who “yourself” is?

 

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