We all want to fit in somehow, to have a role to play in society and to be recognized. The other day in class we we’re brainstorming about different topics like racism, the Middle East, and body image to see how we could make it into a performance. We were 5 groups, and 4 of them chose body image or were concentrating on the ego. By ego I don’t mean being egocentric in a negative way, even though that’s what most people think. I mean the self. They we’re focusing on what they felt were thrown at them from media, making them feel insecure. The groups mentioned things like hair removal, and how that hurts. That it’s hard trying to look pretty when you’re tearing off a wax strip. Another group talked about working out and eating healthy might not be that healthy after all. Are you happy when you’re healthy and can live until you’re 95? For many people living healthy and working out daily has become an obsession, and they end up denying themselves a treat now and then. Media has made this into one of the rules of fitting into society today. We are surrounded by magazines with skinny models, skinny superstars, and skinny pregnant superstars. We admire them, want to be like them, but they’re just as human as us.  They have ups and downs like any person on this planet, and they might not feel as perfect as we think they are. One group thought about making a strip show with normal people in all sizes, apple-shaped, pear-shaped, and cello-shaped. Maybe even a big man swinging himself round a pole. Their goal was to make men realize that not all girls have the perfect hourglass figure. We want to be accepted no matter what shape we are.
My group chose racism. I think it was a topic that touched all of us. One with African background, one was Swedish and me who’s mixed. We wanted to segregate the audience so that they would feel what its like when one group gets benefits and the others don’t. We wanted the to feel the stigma. But we mostly just discussed the subject. People often think racism is only about skin color, but it is about some heightening their own race. They do this by pointing out the differences like for example color of the skin, or color of the eyes. It’s about people who want to be superior to others. Polish face racism, and Swedish, even though Norwegians have come to love them because they’re cheap labor. If your Norwegian in your mind but your color is dark people ask, “Why are you so integrated, do you have a Norwegian parent or are you adopted?” Its never good enough, you’re either not integrated or people wonder why you’re so Norwegian when you’re not. It’s like people have to point out the differences no matter what. My identity problem has a lot to do with me being mixed, half Peruvian half Norwegian. People would always point out the fact that I’m white and have blue eyes. They always claimed that the white is inferior to the dark gene. Then they always want an explanation, and I have to tell them that not all Peruvians are brown Indians from the Andes Mountains. I continue telling them that my family hails from Spain, that my father is not that dark and that my mother is very white. Some who’ve known who I am will introduce themselves and say, “Hey, I heard you’re half Peruvian, but you don’t look like it” Those kinds of conversation starters I absolutely despise. I’ve always felt very Latin, I love to talk, love to dance, and I’ve got an ass I’m very proud of and a temper. Unfortunately I don’t look the part. In Latin America they love my blue eyes, but there I stand out too much. So where do I fit in? Well I’m very content amongst friends and family who accept me for who I am. They love me and don’t judge me for my appearance or my ethnicity.  But still I feel the need to start changing people’s minds. Standing out shouldn’t be based on what you are on the exterior. It’s personality and what’s on the inside which makes you You. And not everybody has to like you. There will always be people who push other people down making themselves feeling better. Only you can accept and appreciate yourself.  Be proud of who you are, and know that you don’t have to change to fit into a certain group. Be yourself and then you will attract friends who will cherish you for being YOU!

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One thought on “Identity and Acceptance

  1. Einig med deg nok ein gong, Silje. 🙂 Trist at etter så mange år med utvikling som fører til at me no kallar oss sjølv for eit moderne samfunn, så finst det likevel så mykje diskriminering og rasisme. I Mississippi hadde dei nettopp ei avstemming der 46 % av republikanarane meinte dei burde lage ein lov som forhindra at menneske av ulike rasar kunne gifte seg. Skjøner ikkje at det kan vere mogleg å ha så forelda syn på ting. Det er 2011, burde ikkje samfunnsutviklinga gå framover mot auka aksept, respekt og toleranse, ikkje bakover mot forsterka framandfrykt og segregering?

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