A while ago, I went to Denny’s for breakfast. Hungry as I was, I ordered the All-American Slam with a side of biscuits and gravy. Yum. I finished the meal and sat back content, then the waitress walked up. She looked down at my empty plate and said, “Wow. I can’t believe you finished it all. It’s rare to see a person, especially a girl, finish all their food.”
I just smiled and shrugged, but inside I was troubled. Why can’t people finish a delicious meal without being criticized? Does finishing a meal mean I don’t fit society’s standards?
Walking through the halls, you constantly see people looking at their reflection to see if they look good, you see judgmental eyes pass over you, and as much as you hate to admit it, you’ve probably passed the same eyes before. We all want to look “perfect.” But is there really a perfect?
Who sat down one day and decided what the perfect person should look like? In this day and age, society has made it seem like the person who eats a burger is fat but the person who eats a salad is trying to get attention. Why can’t we be free to eat what we want without fear of someone judging us?
You can’t change who you are, so you definitely shouldn’t be criticized for being yourself. Don’t worry about those who judge, they just have nothing better to do than make fun of other people. They can’t accomplish anything if you don’t let them.
We’ve heard it all before: be happy with yourself, don’t let others tear you down. But when did all that go away? We started worrying about what other people thought, we tried desperately to be what other people wanted. When you can’t feel free to do what makes you happy, how are you ever going to be you and not some made-up person that pleases others?
If you face yourself being judged by a person, just stop and think for a second: Are you happy with what you’re doing? If so, why does it matter what they say? What it comes down to, in the end, is really that the only person you need to please is you.
Madison Graves is a student at Blue Valley Northwest High School.
Shared with permission of Madison Graves/Blue Valley Northwest’s “The Express”