Monday, January 30, 2012

a beautiful kind of freedom

In my high school Algebra II class, I sat directly in front of one of our school's Cheerleaders. She was a pretty brunette girl, who had a natural olive skin tone... I am a fairly pretty redhead, with a natural white (as in blinding white) skin tone. It was my junior year. By then I had completely accepted my looks. I no longer wished my red hair blonde. I no longer wished my white skin tan. I had a look that only other natural redheads could have -and I liked being unique that way.

One day, during class, Cheerleader-girl leaned forward to inform me, with a sneer on her face, that I should refrain from wearing shorts because my legs were "too white." I'm confident she thought she was giving me some important advice. I told her, something along the lines of, "I'm sorry you have a problem with my legs, but I'm okay with them just the way they are -and if I want to wear shorts, I'm going to wear shorts. You don't have to look."

Through those growing up years, when things like tan legs seem so direly important, I had the opportunity to make many a friend-o-mine feel better about themselves, for no other reason than: next to me, anyone looks tan. "I like sitting next to you, you make me look tan!" -I heard it 1,000 times -at least. I was glad that my whiteness could boost someone else's self-confidence.


Recently, a good friend of mine was mentioning how she feels like she is finally ready to be herself. She's shucked off the chains of "What will they think of me?" and "Who do they want me to be?" and is ready to let her very own light shine -other people can chose to like her or not, she's past worrying about it.

I'm really happy for her because this is such a beautiful kind of freedom! 

I think we should have a party for her!! 


jenny said...

Yes, this is a freeing feeling. :-) And I'm so proud of you for sticking up for yourself in HIGH SCHOOL!! That's phenomenal!

wendy said...

Sometimes it takes women a long time to "accept" themselves. I love this stage of my life, because I am more confident about ME. I care about people, but not so much if the like me or accept me.
I remember your beautiful red hair...and your complexion is lovely.
I am glad you were strong enough to be your own person.

Laurie said...

You're not a fairly pretty redhead. You're an amazingly gorgeous redhead!! :)

And I agree. Let's party! :) Because seriously, that freedom makes you happy! And to find friends that accept you as you are - that's the best feeling ever! :)

Amy said...

Ok, I'm sorry to admit, but now I keep wondering who that brunette was. Probably someone who had a high opinion of her looks and a low opinion of herself.

I LOVE your retort. Bet she rolled her eyes and secretly wished she wasn't a coward.

Love you, girlie.