Hard to Be Different

Last night, BET premiered the 10th Annual Black Girls Rock Awards show. During her acceptance of the Rock Star award, Rihanna encouraged girls to love themselves and accept who they are. Oh, if it was so easy!? Most people don’t even have insight into who they are in order to love themselves. In fact, many people reject parts of themselves out of fear of rejection, ridicule, and shame. Instead we turn a blind eye to the not-so likable parts of ourselves in order to be accepted for someone that we are not. In order to fully love ourselves, we must first recognize and acknowledge the good with the bad.

Unfortunately, we all were born into a world that sends contradictory messages about what it means to be you. We say that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but what really matters is on the outside. Whole groups of people are rejected, ridiculed, and outcast for looking, talking, acting, and even loving differently than we do. Quite frankly, it’s hard to be different in a world that refuses to accept that as human beings we are distinctively similar, different yet the same.

In order for the world to accept the individuality that exists within the collective, we each must display courage and pride for the totality of our being, accepting our messed up selves. Instead we’ve cast aside the parts of ourselves that are displeasing, unlikable, and unacceptable to society, instead of accepting the boxes that have been created for us to fit into. We hide in closets, behind closed doors, and endless amounts of tears, hoping to be accepted, loved, and appreciated for who we really are.

We can no longer choose to accept the good without the bad. Our differences aren’t intended to separate us, but instead shed light on the uniqueness of our being. We must free ourselves from the illusion of perfection and allow our flaws, vulnerabilities, and insecurities to shine bright. They are apart of who we are. No longer wearing the masks, pretending to be perfect because the fact of the matter is that we all are perfectly imperfect.

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