Advanced Essay #3: The Truth Hurts

​I started writing this essay with one specific goal, convince the reader that there is no such thing as change. To me, identity is about who you are and who you will become, and through out the years, I have been told that your identity can change, and change is okay. I believed that for a long time, but after many experiences, both good and bad, I have come to a realization that change is only an excuse we use when we don't like the truth. I thought using a very personal experience and a very eye opening introduction scene could at least have the reader understand my point of view. I'm not saying that the reader has to agree, just understand and explore the ideas that I present. 

The Truth Hurts

You see them, staring right at you. They’ve changed, and you can see it. Their smile, more crooked than ever, as if they’re being forced by a puppeteer. They’re still, and so are you, no words, no clear understanding or explanation as to why they chose to become someone they knew they couldn’t handle. It’s destroyed them, but they’re too scared to admit it, so, they lie to you. They’re staring right at you, with nothing but a blank stare that for some reason you seem to understand, ‘Help me, I can’t escape what I have created.’ It scares you, yet you still stay, you stare at them. Why do they look so familiar? It’s time to say goodbye, to let go of the person you once knew and loved. They’re laugh merely became a grin, they’re touch was just like ice, and they’re love, drying up like leaves. You fear them, yet you allow yourself to stay for just a couple more minutes, because you miss them, even though you try to deny it everyday. You stare at them, their eyes, those familiar eyes, lost in what seems to be misery. Help can’t be given, and it hurts, but it’s also the truth. You can’t help them, you can simply just wait and be patient. You’re staring at yourself, right in the mirror.

Change, it’s such a bland word, it’s overused, and slowly losing its meaning. How can someone have an identity, a uniqueness that can only be seen in them, if they’re trying to steal someone else's?Steal, it’s such a dirty word, but it’s the truth. A change occurs because of fear of judgement and disapproval from society. We grew up thinking and being told by many adult figures that society has grown to accept everything and everyone, but I have learned that statement to be untrue. The world hasn’t been more rejectful of a person then they are today. It’s thought that if you don’t think or look the same way as the rest of the world, then you do not belong, so people “change”, become better not for themselves, but for the benefits of others. Does change really exist? Are people capable of change, or is it all just a lie created to fit in a world you think you don’t fit in?

I grew up surrounded by media that advertised the “perfect figure” to little girls. Size 00, make- up everyday, perfect tan, and many more ridiculous things. These advertisements were everywhere, and there was no escape, it was as if it was stalking me, but it didn’t care that I saw it, it wanted to be seen. I saw it very clearly, so clearly, that I began believing all the propaganda behind the “perfect body”, and what I had wasn’t the perfect body. My 13 year old mind was convinced I had follow these demands, or I wouldn’t be accepted into the world I wanted to be in. My 13 year old mind became cautious of every single item I put in my stomach. My innocent 13 year old mind was tangled in a web of lies, and I couldn’t set myself free. I went from size 4 to size 00, I would stand in front of the mirror everyday, and judge myself, the way I thought society was judging me. It became an addiction, and like any addiction, I saw no slowing down anytime soon, but why did I still feel loathed? I was scared and confused, isn’t this what people wanted? I became uncomfortable, shy, dishonest not only with others, but with myself.

To my surprise, I had been caught in a trap like many other people. My body was taken over like ghosts, whispering every intuition they can think of in my ear, and screaming it in my face. There’s no escape to this trap called reality, once you're in it, there’s nothing you can do to set yourself free. Society has imprisoned the minds of the weak. Once in the trap of lost identity, you consider all your mistakes, and accept the fact that you can never be free because there will always be a voice of judgment in the back of your head. All that can be done now, is accepting who you are and who you want to be, reality won’t change, you cannot change. I understand society now, and have accepted the fact that I can never be free from reality, but I can now live in reality knowing that I can overcome all the judgement and shunning.

Chuck Palahniuk, author of Invisible Monsters, describes identity as something fake, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.” He’s right, at some point in your life you experience denial, denial of yourself. You refuse to see your beauty and uniqueness, and instead, you focus on the beauty of someone else. You think that’s not enough, you need more, so you focus on another person's beauty. You’ve glued the beauty of other people to yourself, and now you look ridiculous. The pieces are put together incorrectly, and the glue isn’t even strong enough. Not only have you lost your beauty, but no one else can see your beauty anymore because you are hiding behind the scraps of other people. You’re aware of what you have done, and you remove all the pieces, and now you're stuck with the remnants that actually did stick on.

When people “change”, at some point they always find themselves back to who they used to be. It’s hard to accept yourself because fitting in is the only thing people care about. Your veins are filled with determination to push you to be someone you are not, someone you cannot be. Every move you make, every breath you take, it’s watched and judged. What you don’t know is that you can’t change, change is impossible, you can’t be someone else because their identity is created by their past, a past you never had. You might think you are convincing the people around you, but really, all you’re doing is showing them that you would do anything to fit in, proving that you are weak. Soon, you become their puppet, and they take advantage of the power they have against you, because you have allowed them to become your puppeteer. People don’t change, no one can, people just get better at hiding who they truly are and who they want to be. Once the truth comes out, life becomes easier, and acceptance becomes something of the past.