Advanced Essay #3: How society destroys our identities

For this essay I wanted to talk about the lack of individuality in our lives because of the influence society has on us. How because of growing up in society we don't truly have our own identities. We don't really know who we are because of how much society has impacted us. I wanted to focus on how society does this and why we feel the need to fit into it. 

¨You shouldn't wear high heels because you're already really tall, you're going to make everyone else look so short. ¨

¨ You think so, I don´t wanna look super huge or tower over anyone.¨

¨ Yeah you're gonna look like a jolly green giant in them, just wear flats or sneakers.¨

I was 12 years old and my best friend Imani and I were trying to figure out what we were going to wear to our 7th grade school dance. It was my very first school dance and I wanted to look perfect. I had settled on wearing a dress with heels until Imani reminded me of my height. I began to feel uncomfortable being tall and I started to do and wear things that prevented me from looking any taller than I already was including wearing heels. I ended up wearing flats that night even though I really wanted to wear heels. I let someone else impact how I felt about myself and make me feel awkward about something that I can´t help. I was unknowingly lowering my own confidence so that everyone else around me could be comfortable.   

       People don't realize the ways that influential society doesn't allow us to be our true selves. We cannot completely be ourselves in this world without upsetting some people. Whether we realize it or not we are always trying to get the approval of others. We long for acceptance and equality from others before we understand it within ourselves. We are constantly unconsciously trying to please others. This makes the priorities in society very questionable.

    Who or what you choose to be is your identity. According to Siimon Reynolds of Forbes “Identity affects how you dress., what wages you ask for or what prices you charge your clients. It even affects how much money you save or spend.¨  We are asked at a very young age who we are and who we are going to be in this world that will make us successful in life. Celebrity Josh Radnor says ¨When I taste success that's when i'll be happy¨.  One does not truly know their identity and who they want to be when from birth we have each been influenced by everything we see and hear around us. In our communities we see things negative and positive that affect overall who we become. Other people shape our identities before we do because of the effect people have over each other. People change people and that’s something that will never change in the world. We will always be taught,  influenced or inspired by something we witness from another person. We all try to fit into the norms of society in order to seek approval from others. We seem to seek approval from other people before we seek it from ourselves. I never understood why this was. We value other people's opinions over our own. We give up who we really are and lose apart of our identities from doing this. We prioritize fitting in and conformity over self-love, acceptance and individuality. I wonder what age it is that you lose the satisfaction of being yourself and not caring what other people have to think of you over what you think of yourself.

Not everyone follows this. There are people out there who don't care about the approval of others or society. They go against the ordinary and do as they please. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson said that. Some people like the risk of not fitting in and being unique. This is a risk that we should all take. I envy people who don't care about what other people think or say about them and are content with being themselves. A lot of people don´t think like this because in our community we value popularity and looking cool as opposed to having our own opinions and beliefs. Society has ruined us as people by placing expectations on us to have and like things.  We no longer have our own identities.

We let society pick our identities apart and tell us that they aren't normal, beautiful, or amazing when we shouldn´t. You are the only one who lives your life so according to Siimon Reynolds ¨you might as well take control of the process and visualise exactly what you want ”. It´s not fair for you to not be the person you want to be and are supposed to be. Be yourself and love yourself.