Celebrate individuality, find your core self

Aris Showers, IV Leader Assistant Opinion Editor

From birth, people are instilled with somebody else’s standards of what they should be like. Another person’s choices may stay with an individual and may cause problems later in life.
People that aren’t aware of their inner self may conduct themselves based on society norms. The standards of an individual doesn’t lie within society. Inner self choices lie within the individual. Society norm is too high a price to pay at the expense of your own individuality. The right choice is to be bold and step up and into every ounce of your core self.
I’m inspired by people that embrace their core selves and reveal it to society. I applaud every single person that’s willing to step up and shuck off society’s vision of what they should be. Society standards tend to be fickle, so, the people with different hairstyles, older adults returning to school, or those that dress differently — know that you are the norm and continue being you.
I think college is a place where acceptance is the norm. Now, all we need is for the rest of society to be more accepting of those differences. The first thing people notice about each other is the visual self; unfortunately, this can be good or bad. I think when people are more open to the visual self, then things are good. Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of individuality in the hallways of school. I love seeing the creativity of people. Curiosity sets in for me, once I notice the uniqueness of an individual. Sometimes I have the opportunity to actually get to know the inner individual and realize they are a reflection of their visual self.
I’ve crossed paths with a young lady in school and she actually inspired me to write this article. I wasn’t able to get her insight about her individuality. I’ll definitely do a follow-up about the after- effects of a more informed society on individuality. So, to the young lady with the buzz haircut, I say: “awesome style.” I thank you for stepping up and into your individuality.
I tend to notice and remember people that are individuals, so to the young man that was posted up against the wall by the bookstore two weeks ago wearing blue jean pants, white dress shirt, red and black tie with black suspenders, I say: “classic.” Young man, your style reminded me of Jon Cryer in the ‘80’s movie “Pretty in Pink” I thank you for stepping up and into your individuality.
People that are raised with a family dynamic that promotes individuality and acceptance of self is an amazing thing.
IVCC student Dezeriah Kizer was raised in a family like that. She states: “My parents emphasized we were beautiful the way we were.”
People express their individuality in a variety of ways. The hairstyles of women seem to speak volumes to a society that endorses certain images as norm. Kizer is a young lady that, because of her family acceptance of individuality, has been styling her hair natural all her life.
“It was my decision to continue wearing it natural and I’m grateful and content with my hair,” she said.
Some people are not as aware of their core self like Kizer, but that’s society’s fault. The visual self is usually a reflection of the core self. Kizer says, “It exemplifies traits I hold dear to and strive for, like strong, diverse, adventurous, warm hearted and aspiring.”
Personal qualities are important things to have and live by. Hopefully more individuals will step up to be motivating.
The biggest obstacle that people face when attaining their individuality is acceptance by their peers and culture. People tend to get misjudged because of the way they look.
Kizer knows the feeling. “I’ve heard ‘too black’ especially, by people of my own race.”
Cultural norms have a heavy impact on whether or not people accept their individuality. People who are able to be whom and what they desire are amazing. Stigmatizing exists and when it comes to natural hair, peers seem to influence the outcome of a person’s choice.
“I think down the line, people started trying to merge with what they thought were the social norms,” Kizer said. Cultural beliefs are something people learn early and if the first impression is negative, people tend to stay closed off.
Kizer used two words to describe how her hair makes her feel, “Happy and free.” Kizer’s words express her core self. I thank you for stepping up and into your individuality.
To people who are unsure if their individuality will be accepted, I say only, yes it will be, because you are the norm. I also know one day you’ll be the individual that you are meant to be. Once the time is right for you, just shuck off the naysayers and step up and into your individualized self. I thank you ahead of time for taking that step up.

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