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Guest post by Krista Clement- Empowering the different

Empowering the different

Hello Gorgeous-Glamour Ladies!

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Krista and I am a 21-(almost 22) year-old college student. In the context of this post, I would like to point out that I have always been a little different. In a world of extroverted children, I was the quiet, shy girl who would have rather kept to herself on the playground,than play with others. I was always too creative for my own good, and I was the crier in my elementary school.
I may only be 21 years old, but I can say that I know myself better than most 40-year-olds know their selves. I learn from my mistakes, because I have internalized every aspect of my life in self-defense of a world that does not understand me, or the people like me.
This takes me to what I want to talk about with you today: how to empower yourself when you feel like the black sheep of the world. We all have our quirks. There are some of us that try very hard to disguises these quirks and blend in, while others try hard to stick out. However,what I have learned in my life is that both of these extremes have their own insecurities, while the people that sit in the middle can be very confused.
I was one of those confused people for a long time. I changed myself as a child to fit in. I had neighborhood friends, I would go and play almost every day, and I would interact with people just fine, but there was always something that felt wrong. I would come home tired after a day of playing; not excited to tell my parents about the tree fort I built. I would shake with nerves going to hang out with friends, and I could not stay overnight at a different house for a very long time. I would later find out that these were all signs of early social anxiety.
As a teenager, I changed myself to the other extreme. I embraced the “emo” look because of a guy I was dating when I was 16. Since the time of my childhood, everyone kept telling me I was different, and I was always the one who “changed” in friendships. I was tried of always being the odd one out, so I became the odd one out. I cut my hair very short and choppy,and I wore plaid pants (much to my dismay now). I listened to hard rock, and tried to be a rebel. I wasn’t a rebel; I was just a confused teenager with anxiety.
Looking back now, I am actually a little sad. I am sad that the people I called friends made fun of me for my “choices,” when in fact; these were not choices at all. My introversion and anxiety is a part of my personality—something I clearly cannot change. I am still sad that children who are different are exploited by their classmates and made to feel like outcasts. However, it is great to see that there are resources out there now that I didn’t have as a child. Maybe if there were a support system like “It Gets Better” or a movie about bullying when I was a troubled teen, my problems would have gotten better sooner. I would have embraced my differences at an earlier age, and maybe started helping others too.
If you can change one person’s life through your actions, you are making a difference. It is not always about changing the world, though if you can, why not? As a young girl struggling with mental issues, I have tried as hard as I can to help others like me realize that they are just as beautiful and capable as the rest of society. I have done this without medication, following a few of my own guidelines that I would like to share with you.
Getting over being different is not about getting over it; it is about embracing your differences and showing the world that you are not scared of them.
I will be the first to say that social anxiety sucks. There are different types, ranging from being scared of crowds to being scared of individual people. My biggest fear in life is being judged. I was so bad at one point that I could not walk down the street without ducking into a bathroom because someone looked at me weird, and I thought I had something on my face. However, there is something to be learned with this. My over exaggerated fear, is everyone’s normal fear. No one likes to be judged, and it has made me incredibly understanding of this. Do not get me wrong, I slip up from time to time, but I try to remember that everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses, sometimes it’s just hard to see.
Love, or at least accept, who you are
It seems so simple right? However, especially with women, we all find something in us that we hate. Sometimes it is our weight,sometimes it is the way we think, but the fact of the matter is, most of the time we cannot do anything about the things we hate about ourselves. I have always hated how short I am. I am 5’2”, and have been called “Shorty” my whole life, but it is things as simple as loving that I can always find petite clothes on sale that helps me embrace this. I may never love how tall I am, but I at least accept it, and I make the best of it.
We are our own worst enemy. You can conquer yourself.
I always say my biggest breakthrough in life was when I realized that it was not the people around me judging me, but my mind making me think people were judging me. We are all our own worst enemies, and our biggest companions. Remember that you are the only one who can tear yourself down. If you do not let others get to you, than nothing can. I know it is easier said that done. I do take things to heart very quickly, but I also realize that once something is starting to hurt me, it is my problem not the other person’s problem. Once it is internalized, I know I can conquer it. I am not scared of myself and because of that, I am not scared to stand up to myself and say “no.”
I think this is the biggest thing everyone who has confidence issues should learn. While the people in the world can be cruel and unforgiving, you need to forgive yourself and learn to deal with yourself. Maybe you need to go cry for a while before you can pick yourself back up, or maybe you need to go work out. Do not fight your tactics for dealing with stress and criticism. It is okay to cry, and it is okay to take out aggression, as long as you do it in a healthy way.
People who are different, in my mind, are different for a reason. They are here to do amazing and great things that others can’t. We are innovators, thinkers, activists, and we can make a difference. If you associate with anything that is against the norm, than I hope you can hear my battle cry. Depression and anxiety is not leprosy and should not be treated in the same way. Being Gay is not a disease and should not try to be“treated.” Being a minority is birth right, not a ball and chain. These things should not weigh us down, but instead make us rise to the occasion.

This beautiful post was written by Krista Clement.
You can read more from this great writer at http://shortorderlife.blogspot.com/
Make sure you follow her blog so you can keep up with her. She has learned a lot in her life and wants to help make a difference in others by sharing. If there were more people willing to do that and open up, this world would be a better place.

- Kerrie