During my exams last semester, one day while cramming my notes I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw a blunt, outspoken, straightforward girl with a damn care attitude, but with this look came a thought, a thought which clutched my mind and I just couldn’t get out of the strong grip! The thought was not so outrageous rather it was just a simple query i.e.
“Is this the real me?”
Yes! It wasn’t the real me. I’m not a person with a damn care attitude towards life, I care about small things; things like what would I do in the quiz if I don’t study? Or what shall I buy for my mother from the small sum of money I saved from my pocket money. I was a nerd; a nerd who studied hard day and night to get good grades and pretended to be cool. A cool girl who didn’t study at all and still somehow got good marks!
But who was I hiding from, why did I never tell anyone that how much I studied or why I wanted to mask my concentration in studies from others? What is a COOL personality? Who defined those terms?
Let’s take a look into it from the perspective of a normal teenager who doesn’t know what’s in and what’s out!
We go into the university with high spirits, aspiring dreams, passion and zest to be something big someday. The ambience that seems so conciliatory the first day gradually throws back our deficiencies upon us. We are never appreciated for what we are rather always pointed out the way we should be.
The various definitions get their ways into our heads like whose Cool, Hot, Geek, Funky or a Rock star. A few things necessary to get into “The Elites” are not the money rather there is a whole recipe to be a part of the mighty agenda! The recipe includes a variety of compulsory ingredients like designer clothes (If you don’t have them at least pretend), English with an accent, a few top class gossiping qualities, highly artificial attitude and oh yes! You should be humble and sympathetic to those who are not the “Elites”.
To get into the circle of the Elites, all the girls and guys tighten their belts after few weeks of the university to gather the ingredients. They get on the nerves of their parents whose old mind thoughts become mind-boggling now. Girls go on a diet to get in their perfect skirt and the guys pretend to smoke even if they don’t know how to!
But has someone ever thought why do we have to fit in the already settled parameters for being the “Hottest”, in fact what is the Hottest or the Coolest? What is it for?
No, it’s not for success. Neither does it fulfill the aspirations that were bubbling in the students when they joined in nor does it actually make them different from what they are in real. It’s just a mask we use, which in terms of psychology will be defined as “Relational violence”. In literary terms it’s violence done by females to suppress the aggression within them but I believe it’s rather a term for both genders who participate evenly in this ruthless brutality of dividing people into classes.
What could be worse than changing yourself for the sake of something which doesn’t even exist?
Are we so superficial that vague gushes of artificiality carry away our persona? We; the greatest creation of God can change it’s thoughts, beliefs and forget his/her own identity for the sake of being a center of attention?
We see girls dying of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia, young teens dying drunk due to speedy road accidents, smoking as a sacred ritual for the sake of attention and an addiction to lose weight, parents’ presence seen as a source of embarrassment in the “IN” circle and young teens sneaking out to make gf/bfs to check if they are in demand or not. The values with which we lived for years suddenly become lame in front of the individualistic approaches? Is appreciating those, who gave you birth, strength and support, not worthwhile enough to waste time on? Why do we change our paths from the library to the café for being eminent? Why do we make fun of those who wear glasses or are not close to a perfect figure? Why a big car and late night partying is becoming an obsession rather than recreation? All we need to do is think!
Think with the brain that the Almighty Allah gave us, ponder upon what we actually are and realize that we are not what the world defines us as, we are what our mind shapes us as. The world is making its progress to a dangerous end where people pursue the legendary trail without even questioning it for a moment. But I think it’s high time that instead of making movies like mean girls, teeny toons, never been kissed etc.. We focus on throwing away those fake, lame beliefs, which forge young people and overshadow their true brilliance.