Pop Culture glorifies the “freak flag” and the “untouchables”, but they brand it with beautiful people that everyone adores. If your genuine interests line up with what is currently trending, you’re labelled “basic”. If you’re anything else, it is assumed that you are desperate for attention and approval. It’s true what they say: “You can’t please everyone”. You’ll always be too much for someone, and you’ll always be not enough for someone else. What happens when you’re too much for most people though? What if you’ve been told time and again that you’re not enough for this world?
Shout out to the cry-baby surrounded by calloused people demanding that they “toughen up”. Shout out to the frank and the honest, surrounded by sensitive people insisting that they censor and mute their truths.
Shout out to the people who take selfies even though the world wants to frame them as narcissists. Never mind the fact that narcissism and vanity are two separate things entirely; one describes a person who honestly believes they are grander than everyone else and that the world revolves around them and their interests, while the other is just a personality trait of someone who enjoys and indulges in their own outward appearance. A small amount of vanity, in moderation, can be an invaluable tool for people who grew up being told they weren’t attractive. This type of social ostracization at a young age generally lends way to an adulthood riddled with body dysmorphia and low self esteem – two of the leading causes of suicide in young people.
Shout out to the new mother who doesn’t seem to fit in with any other parents. I see you crumbling under the pressure. I hear the casual moms saying you’re too uptight, accusing you of spoiling your child, calling you “sanctimommy”. I hear the crunchy moms criticizing how you installed your car seat, how you got your picky child to eat lunch, how you raised your voice that one time, how you aren’t ‘conscious’ or ‘aware’ enough for them. I see you up at night, sick to your stomach, crying, wondering: “Is this post partum depression? Or do I feel guilty because I know I’m a horrible mother?” God forbid you turn to the internet for validation or support – they’ll only confirm your anxiety’s ugly, unforgiving narrative.
It’s lonely to be a human being. Loneliness can stifle the will to live. Lack of connection can really harden the heart, or squeeze it until it bursts. Rejection and isolation breed insecurity, self-loathing, and desperation, which are considered socially undesirable behaviors. Being suicidal is a stigma on its own, leaving the lonely even lonelier, the aliens further alienated, the untouchable colder and emptier than ever. It can feel like nobody wants to see us. It’s easy to buy into the belief that echoes around us, bouncing off the walls of our worlds: “You’re the only one. No one else knows what it’s like. Nobody would miss you if you were gone.”
The echoes are wrong, though. The “too much” and “not enough” of this world are scattered amongst the general public, the mouths of our hearts agape and gasping for any love, our cold hands outstretched, hoping to get a handful of someone who likes us for who we actually are, and not who we pretend to be.
Shout out to everyone who has tasted what it feels like to be their true self only to be mocked, criticized, and pressured back into hiding.
I see you.