A startling amount of people tend to play down the qualities that make them unique, often because they are ashamed of what they are. Society has a lot of opinions, and the unfortunate fact of life is that “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” (-Dita von Ceese). You can be an athlete and there will always be a whole subset of the population who resents you or judges you for it. You could love fashion, and you can bet that someone out there is going to think you’re vain. You could be a theoretical physicist, and there are people out there who don’t believe in your science. It can be difficult to come to terms with, but the best way to be unhappy is to try to please everyone. You simply never will, and that’s okay.
A girl who wears a full face of makeup every day and carefully selects her outfits might feel the need to prove she isn’t a “weak” narcissist by overplaying her interest in football. A boy who finds physics fascinating may complain about the class to his friends so as to maintain his “cool” status. An honors student might overstate her knowledge because she feels that not knowing things is a fault in the circles she runs in. A woman who feels she isn’t “domestic enough” might claim to love doing DIY crafts in her free time, when in fact they merely frustrate and annoy her. And why? I very much understand the social pressure to be acceptable (see my post “A broadened perception of self”), but these past several months I’ve been able to transcend this desire. As Malcom Forbes said, “Too many people undervalue what they are, and overvalue what they are not.”
I happen to be very vain, and I really am not concerned with it. I love fashion, I love makeup. It’s like another form of art. It makes me feel good to look nice–on those days when I wake up late and come to school in sweats, I feel self-conscious all day long. Is that a fault of mine? Maybe. Should I work on my self esteem? Some might say so. But the point is that I’m content with my vanity. I’ve come to accept this about myself. A few years ago on the Ellen show, Chris Colfer said, “If you truly own who you are, no one can use it against you.” That statement could not be more true. I am vain. I can also be impatient, emotional, and stubborn. People tell me these things and I tell them, “I know, I’m working on it.” I don’t feel bad for who I am. In fact, I love myself. I think that’s probably one of the best feelings in the world.
So never apologize for yourself or try to downplay the things you feel are socially unacceptable. Since I’m on such a roll with the relevant quotes today, I’ll throw in another one: “You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, something not everyone knows how to love.” -Warsan Shire. I’ll stop writing before I overdo it on the quotes, but I hope some day you come to terms with yourself and learn to be at peace with who you are. I’ve learned from experience that when you do this, you will truly become happy.