I don't follow the norm. I don't do what everyone else says is "cool." I don't give into peer pressure, and I'm not a wannabe. People may label me as goth, punk, skater, preppie, or anything else they can think of, but I know that I am none of those. I'm myself. I dress how I like to dress, and listen to the type of music I want to listen to, and do things that intrest me. In my opinion, I think different is a good thing. People like to think that I'm extremely different from everyone else, but other people disagree. I may be different, but I still shop at all the same stores that my peers shop at. I shop wherever there is cloths and jewlery that I like, and some of those stores just happen to be Mariposa, Claires, Bootlegger, etc. Where almost everyone else I know shops... sure theres other places, but I do get most of my cloths from the same stores that the "norm" of people get theirs from. I like to be creative, its fun to be creative, I know some people who aren't, and it gets a little boring somtimes, but if you want to not be creative, its your own choice, I'm not about to criticize anyone for who they are and what they like, and I'm not saying its a bad thing either. I have caring friends and family, who love me for me and most of them don't try to change me in any way, shape or form. They are proud of me, for who I am. If people pressured you to dress a way, and act a way that you didn't want to act, how would you feel? Would you feel discriminated against? Would you feel hurt? Most people don't try to change me, but the ones that do, really get to me. I try to not let them bug me, and most of the time they don't, but somtimes, they do. You cannot judge a person fully by what you see on the outside. Its whats on the inside. Sometimes people say, "dress like everyone else!" and they call me a freak, and say that I'm weird because I'm different from them. If you knew someone who was overweight, would you say to them, "look how normal people look! Lose weight!" I'm sure you wouldn't. Let people be themselves. Everyone needs the chance to be an individual, thats how we grow and learn, you don't have the right to deprive people of that privalige. Looking a certain way, has nothing to do with anything. Its simply how people chose to express themselves. I don't hurt anyone by dressing how I dress, and by what type of music I listen to. I'm a friendly person, with a good heart, and a very open mind. I don't get into trouble, and I'm a good student with lots of caring friends and family. I just wish some people would open their minds more, and not be so narrow minded. Prejudice is a big problem these days, people judge before knowing the situation, or the person, or anything about what they're criticizing. And there are more important things to be done and said in the world then complain about how someone dresses or how many peircings they have. But when its someone you know, its not prejudice, because if they already know you, and know that you're a good person, and still continue to criticize you, and your beliefs, then what does that make them? Its just ignorant. Looks express personallity. By that I don't mean to sound like I'm contradicting myself, because I mean it in a different way. What you wear, expresses you. So, say you dressed really formal, thats just expressing that you're you. If you dress like a "goth", you're just being you. If you dress like a jock, but are in fact a "skater" or somthing else, you're still just being you. You're the same person on the inside, no matter what you wear. If after this, you still say... well you should dress like everyone else, and be like everyone else... then you need to open your mind a little bit more, because what good would it do if everyone looked the same? The world would be boring. In fact, there really is no "norm." I have never seen 2 people that look alike. Even if they come from the same clique, they look the same from the outside, but if you look closer, there are differences. No one is the same, I am different, you are different, everyone is different, in the same type of way. But we all have hearts, and feelings, and it hurts when people are using their prejudice ways against you, and criticizing you by appearance. If someones overweight, people don't point and stare and laugh, and tell them to be like the "norm" of people, and most people don't do that for people who dress differently either. I may not always be dying my hair bright colours, and wearing chains around my neck, but I'll always be different, and so will you, and everyone else. Who cares whats on the outside, its the INSIDE that counts. There are no excuses for prejudice. And besides, if I gave in and dressed the "norm", what good would it be doing? I wouldn't be happy. That doesn't intrest me. I would be miserable for the rest of my life, and unhappy. I'm not going to change for anyone. No one should have to change for anyone. A lot of people would consider the "norm" thing to wear at my school, or in my neighborhood, just "whatever is comfortable." Thats what people would say, the "norm" of people, wear whatever they want to wear. So technically, I am the norm. There are also different kinds of norm. Lots of people enjoy reading and writing, while others enjoy music and sports, some also enjoy sitting around smoking and doing drugs, what would you say if I went with that norm? You would probably say, "do what everyone else is doing, be like everyone else your age" but in some cases, that would be what everyone else is doing, so then what would you say? How would you try to change me then? Why do I have to live up to everyone else expectations? But I guess I can't be good enough for everyone.