Don’t Die A Copy

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We are schooled in conformity from an early age. It makes sense. Our job from birth is to figure out how to be humans. We do this by paying attention to the other important humans in our lives and doing what they do.

But for a lot of us, conformity eventually outlives its usefulness and instead becomes a prison. We want to be ourselves and struggle to figure out what that means while the ever present threat of social disapproval keeps us strictly in line.

Our bodies are prime battlegrounds for this battle between self and sameness. We are forever pushing to express ourselves while simultaneously being “businesslike”, or “decent”, or in style. All of these are pressures that can seem reasonable to some but are fundamentally unattainable by others: the black person’s natural hair that can never be businesslike, the fat person’s body that will never be judged decent, the poor person’s clothes that will never reach stylishness.

I understand why people strive to physically conform. “Being yourself” is a luxury that pales in comparison to “feeding yourself” and other things that are harder to do the more your society hates you.

Still, I can dream.

What is the thing that is “worst” about you? What is the thing that is most different? What if those things were (are) the most awesome things about you? The beautiful things that make you you?

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