05 July 2013

Society Says...

Hope everyone had a jolly Fourth of July!
Like American families all across the country, I joined mine in recognition of the holiday and celebrated with food and company.

However, this isn't about the holiday. At one point during the afternoon, my cousin pointed out the hair on my legs to my two older cousins. After several disgusted remarks on my hirsute limbs, I questioned "Well, who says I have to shave anyway?" The response that I received? "Society says so!"

Rather than battle out my position against this incredibly bigoted remark, I kept my thoughts to myself. But this is what I wish I had said:

"Society says I have to shave my legs? What do the opinions of a general population have to do with anything? You know what society has said? That black people can't sit in the front of a bus. That women were only useful for child-rearing. That gay men can't marry, that girls had to play with Barbies and boys had to play with action figures and cars. Because of society, women didn't have a vote. Japanese people were forced into internment camps. The Fourth of July marks America's independence from Great Britain, a remarkable event in all of human history that defied what society once said. Isn't the present day the perfect time to realize that society has no say?" 

Ladies and gentlemen, do or do not do whatever you choose. From the little things like shaving to the big things like marriage, don't let the general opinion of an incredibly diverse population guide yourself.
It comes down to one thought: Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.