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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Too Sexy for My Dignity

I don't usually post truly personal thoughts like these, but this is an issue that seems to haunt everyone. It's wonderful to see a young adult really developing an independent sense of self. Regardless of the pressures to conform or pressures to seek validation from peer groups, a high school student establishes her own style:

By the time spring rolls around, I feel as though my school is transformed into a strip club, and instead of arming myself with pencils and review books for finals, I think I’ll just start bringing dollar bills.

..I feel like the return of actual sunshine after months of grey turns the high school into Jay-Z’s newest music video-- underage nakedness and all.

... never again do I want to feel controlled by the approval of my peers...

We all feel the pressures to look and act in certain ways, men and women. I've given in to my share of shameless self-displays, but I have also conquered much of the cognitive dissonance. For example, I don't wear make-up because I don't like the way it feels on my skin, the way it looks on my face or the way it warps my conscience and no amount of commercial advertisement will change my mind. I know, easier said than done.

If you want to dress in the height of fashion, then do it and don't feel guilty. What I would discourage is conformity for the sake of acceptance. My first suggestion to anyone trying to breakaway: STOP WATCHING TELEVISION. The standards by which you judge yourself will change dramatically and they will be much more realistic. And remember, even all of the supposedly beautiful people we envy struggle just as much to reassure themselves.