Vulnerability: The Root of All Weaknesses

By Rocio, age 16, California

Self-esteem, bad acne, magazine models, and the list goes on. Not only do teens put themselves at risk of becoming controlled by the media as they continue to mold themselves into plastic Barbie dolls, but they also shrink their inner egos. Each one of us, whether we accept it or not, has an inner uniqueness that makes us different from one another. There is no need to conform to the expectations set by those who surround us. No need for anyone to put you down just because you're not perfect. Sadly, I've learned this the hard way. I mean, you think to yourself, "Well, I'm prepared for what lies ahead in the future, but why don't I feel good enough?" Sometimes all you have to do is just close your eyes and let everything out, even if it means crying until your eyes are swollen. Trust me, I used to hate that feeling after dry swallowing a big pill that burned through my throat and triggered the tears to run down my eyes. I would tell myself, "Bite your tongue; don't be such a coward". But now I realize it's not being a coward, because if I'm not afraid to express myself, then that shows that I am brave.

It has become a soothing therapy for me to occasionally cry when I need to. At times, it's for no reason; it's just the vulnerability of my emotions that drive me to do it. It's that same volatile vulnerability that has led me to become a more confident, stronger person. Forget the influences; rock your own style, dance to your own beats. Don't be afraid to stand out; maybe you were meant for it. Self-consciousness is just a symptom of maturity. Because once you are able to become aware of the fact that you are who you want to be, the rest doesn't matter. I'm fed up with the dictatorial manners of this society; it shouldn't be up to others to tell me how to dress, speak, and eat ... to limit myself to the few things that are acceptable. So be free in speech, embrace tolerance, and diversify yourself, because it will be the things you didn't do that you'll regret in the long run.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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