Standing Out & Fitting In
By Mona, age 16, Philippines
"Don't be too fat, or too thin, or too dark, or too light; don't be too sexual, or too chaste, or too smart, or too dumb. Be yourself. But make sure you fit in." - Anna Taggaro, from One Tree Hill
Remember that line from the One Tree Hill episode called "Truth, Bitter Truth" where the girls of Tree Hill had a slumber party at Haley's house? It was said by Anna Taggaro, Felix's sister, who liked Lucas, but turned out to be a lesbian later on in the show. She's right. Teenage girls are too self-conscious these days, and it's driving them crazy. Not having a perfect body, perfect skin, a perfect social life, and all the hip and modern clothes which their parents pay for, who, by the way, are working very hard to satisfy all the needs of their sons and daughters.
There are so many books and articles for teenagers teaching them not to be so self-conscious and to always be confident, but the truth is it never works. We always care what people think. Well, most of us do anyway. We just can't help it. But there's always a solution. We can stop this madness, but we just don't want to or we don't know how to. You cannot stop eating just because you want to lose weight. There are appropriate diets and, of course, proper exercise. You cannot spend a lot of money on whitening creams and lotions just because you want to look so white.
Face it! We are Filipinos. Some are born white, some dark, and some are in between. Accept your color. You can't do anything about it. And you can't just start fooling around with someone just like what you see in the movies. First and foremost, we should remember that we are Filipinos and we have highly respected values. (You know what I'm talking about - the whole abstaining before marriage thing.)
Being really smart is not a bad thing. In fact, it's a very good thing. But that does not mean smart people should be treated differently from average and dumb people. We just can't call smart people dorks and nerds. We are all the same. We should always be ourselves no matter what we do or where we are or whom we're talking to. Yes, it's very cliche, but it's true.
There's nothing wrong with fitting in. Fitting in is kinda cool, you know. We all get to be equal individuals - no one standing out from the crowd because they're of a higher class than everyone else. You can always stand out, but make sure you also give others a chance too. A girl's panorama: ME, MYSELF, AND I. Know yourself first, then let others know you.