Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#Reverb10: 8.0

December 8 – Beautifully Different.

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

(Author: Karen Walrond)

What makes me different? Than what? To whom? To be considered "different," you have to believe that there is a "normal," or at least a standard by which all people are evaluated. And I'm not entirely sure that exists. There are standards for athletes and models/the fashion industry (the existence of sample sizes in clothing and shoes prove this). But what's the standard for 20-something underemployed people with graduate degrees from the east coast who moved to Colorado and love their dog more than most people?

I think there are a lot of things that make me beautiful, but I'm not entirely sure they make me different. I like my smile, but that was created by $3000+ worth of orthodontics when I was 12. My hair is amazing, but I have my genetics to thank for this, and a lot of people have curly hair that's thick and dark (like my entire family). I'm also tall, but not freakishly so, unless I'm wearing one of my many pairs of 4-inch heels. I'm also scathing, funny, and blunt; but so are most of my friends, and that's why we like each other. I have tattoos and piercings, but so do a lot of people. Body mod isn't exactly unique anymore. My only discernible differences are my weird medical ailments, and they certainly don't make me beautiful. They hurt my body and cost a lot of money, and they're a nuisance in my life. My experiences are also different, and they do make me beautiful to some extent, but only if I choose to use them to not repeat mistakes and to learn and grow, as opposed to using them to wallow in self-pity or loathing. I don't want to use my life as a crutch or reason that I'm different from others (in the way that "no one understands me"); I use my experiences as fodder for the creation of the person I want to be.

I've also found that people who try to be "different," to rail against ANY standard that they believe to be the norm, are desperately attempting to fit in somewhere. Anywhere. Look at any high school. Or watch any indie movie where the chick is so weird and "look at me, I'm DIFFERENT!" that it becomes a ploy for attention so sickeningly desperate and reeking of insecurity. If you love yourself, you don't try to be different: you just ARE.

With the increasing number of people in the world and a perpetual desire to become "individuals," are our differences really all that discernible?

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