Student Perspective: Words Make A Difference

“You Look Weird”

This is the story of how I learned how I’d live my life. It was a sunny day, towards the end of my seventh grade year. A boy told me something- he told me I looked weird.

Up until that point, I had had a friend. This friend was constantly making subtle remarks about how I was a “twig” or “lacked curves” or my personal favorite- I was an “anti-social dork” who “needed a life.” Now I’m not denying that all this isn’t true. In fact, I believe in every word.

I am a twig. I am a lanky, tall, scrawny person. Fact.

I do lack curves. I’m a middle schooler for goodness sakes, is this SO abnormal?

I am anti-social. I prefer a good book, or perhaps taking my time studying.

I am a dork. I like anime and I love to read and write- I can’t see why this is an insult.

I do need a life. Otherwise I’d be dead.

The insults never really got to me (probably because I’m normally a horribly apathetic person), however the malice in my so-called-friends voice did. I felt as if I had somehow caused my friend to hate me! However, “logical me” quickly told “hormonal me” to shut up. I knew that my friend was in the wrong, but I began to look at myself differently. Was what my friend saw truly what others thought about me? A twig-like, anti-social… dork?

Back to the boy who told me I looked weird. Now you may be thinking he was being mean, or was further wounding my self esteem- but you’d be completely wrong. This boy was one I wouldn’t consider a friend or foe. My feelings towards him… I was indifferent. He was just another kid to me, and still is.

That day I dressed in a different way than I usually had. I was the kid who simply hated fitted clothes, who got cold easily, and prefered to be comfortable. I dressed in a simple anime related t-shirt, baggy pants, and a two-sizes-too-big pullover sweatshirt. That was what I was comfortable in. I liked it. I hated anything that hugged my body. It was just uncomfortable for me!

That day I wore a fitted, thin sweater over an elastic tank-top, along with black leggings. Yuck. I got many compliments on my top. In all honesty, it kind of hurt how pretending to be someone I’m not earned others approval! Every compliment caused a pang of dread to echo throughout my chest. It was like who I truly was… was being insulted!

During one of my classes, while my friend was complimenting me on my shirt, the boy was opening windows. You know, using that giant wooden stick thing? He stood behind my friend and I, I suppose he couldn’t help but eavesdrop. He turned and looked at my fidgety, uncomfortable self and told me “You look weird… Not in a good way.” Then walked away.

At first, I thought it was too good to be true. The boy had never once even mentioned my appearance. I smirked slightly to myself, suddenly feeling like I wasn’t the only one to think the clothing change simply wasn’t right! It wasn’t me! I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, a slave to society.

That day I decided I’d live my life as me.

That I’d live being myself.

All because of a boy who told me I looked weird.

Editors’ Note:  The above was written by a seventh grade student.  We are all reminded that our words make a difference.  Choose yours wisely and be respectful to one another.

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