I just finished the House of Mirth and initially found the main character Miss Bart annoying and vapid. She spends money she does not have to ‘fit in’, she hangs out with people she does not enjoy. In general, she acts so others will accept her. I enjoy reading but I found her unrelatable. I tried to think of purposeful things I do to belong to a particular group and have come up empty. I try, and have always done so, to be true to myself.
As a child, I never wore light up shoes. I never had any piece of clothing with a Disney design on it. I never got a feather in my hair. I never had a Barbie. I was never a princess for Halloween instead a polar bear, a pumpkin,
an orange wedge,
I danced ballet, and surfed, and built worlds out of Playmobil with my brothers, and played Mine Craft and Legos and Nerf Wars with the boys in my grade. Nothing I did made me fit in, yet I always had friends.
As I grew older nothing changed. I’ve shopped at Urban Outfitters exactly once. My first Instagram post was of my cat, I post now to get discounts on bikinis and surf sponsor interest.
I have four Snapchat streaks and they happened accidently. I never read The Fault in Our Stars or The Hunger Games. I read nonfiction books about great white sharks, tuberculous in Haiti, rouge waves, slums in India, and North Korean prison camps. I never got my ears pierced. I wore penny loafers on dress day in 8thgrade. I know the movie Mulan by heart. I don’t hide my freckles under a thick layer of foundation.
I don’t highlight my hair or apply fake tanner. I don’t spend my money on Gucci belts, rather I use it for bean, cheese, and rice burritos. I wear a hot pink rubber, digital watch every day that tells me the tide at my favorite break. My mom is my biggest confidant. I spend more time with my family than anyone else. I never went through a ‘ho’ phase. I had my first kiss because I wanted to, not because it would give me more clout. The “popular” kids Juul, the “weird” kids Juul. I do not.
Now you might be thinking, wow this girl is a weirdo, and you’re not wrong. I am weird. We are all weird on the inside, but the people that choose to embrace who they are and do what they want instead of completing the desires of others are rare.
At school I hang out with the “popular” kids. I go to parties almost every weekend because the “cool” kids want to hang out with me. I am friends with these people because I think that they are intelligent, funny, and more interesting than anyone else in my grade. I go to these parties because I want to have fun. I do what I do and hang out with the people I do because I want to and not because I have changed myself to be just like them.
I am one of the “popular” kids because I am weird, because I am different, because I never had light up shoes, because I wear a highlighter pink watch, because I surf, because my ears are in one piece, because I am me.