Column By J1 Reporter Sophia Reinhardt
From a young age people are exposed to different types of media and activities, some they love and some they don’t. We have a desire to share these interests with others, but oftentimes we receive backlash for what we enjoy. This makes people feel insecure about what they like, and can lead to them pushing these interests away and turning into someone that isn’t really them.
Many people are used to hearing something along the lines of, “Do you actually like that? That’s so nerdy, only ‘basic’ girls like that” Being interested in things such as a certain book series, anime, Marvel, Star Wars, and DC gets negative backlash from peers and even parents.
People end up being ashamed for what they are into and push it away, acting as if it wasn’t something they liked and even bashing others who do enjoy those things.
On the other side, there’s people who believe that being into stereotypical “basic” things is something to be ashamed of. If you like certain Starbucks drinks, trendy clothes, popular shows, or even wearing your hair a certain way, you can be labeled as basic. These people tend to also be looked down upon and can be victims of negative attention especially on social media.
I often find myself thinking what could be classified as nerdy or basic, or just liking something for attention? Aren’t we always told to be open minded and accepting? Why are some people allowed to enjoy what they like but not others?
This becomes a bigger struggle in high school when people are trying to make friends and figure out who they are and what brings them joy. When I first started high school, I was afraid of what people would think of me if they knew I liked to read fantasy books or watch anime, and compared to the more common shows that people my age liked to watch.
There seems to be a stigma in liking things that aren’t as trendy and maybe seen as more “obscure”. I know myself as well as some of my friends feared what criticism we would face and what loneliness would come along with it.
This leads to the question of how are we supposed to live “the best years of our lives” if all we face is criticism and judgment or the fear of those? Why can’t we just be ourselves and not feel ashamed? At an all girls school we are supposed to be girls supporting girls not tearing each other down over trivial things. Luckily I, as well as many others, have found a great and supportive group of people who make us feel loved for being ourselves. Unfortunately not everyone at every school has this chance.
If we all lifted each other up people would feel a lot more comfortable and confident in themselves and be happier coming to school each day. I challenge everyone to open your minds a little bit and support each other over tearing each other down. After all, isn’t Marian a place where we are supposed to “be confident to be me”?