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by Victoria Mena, 2020

Social norms are the worst.

Peer pressure and the thought of “fitting in” can drive someone to insanity,

Putting someone down because of their appearance or their personality is like pushing them down in a pool of water until they’re fully submerged.

These monsters are making people think, “am I good enough,” when they wake up, rather than, “this day is going to be great,”

And every night they go home and instead of eating a normal dinner, they don’t even grab

a plate,

Just to keep their figure “skinny” and “normal,”

even if it makes them feel sick but they don’t care because it’s “necessary,” they say.

But why?

Who would sacrifice their health and well-being to be loved and popular?

It happens more than you think; those kids who you think are perfect are just trying to keep up an act, keep on their mask trying not to break down and cry.

They’re putting on makeup and sucking in their stomach; no you can’t get a normal job you have to stay at home because all you’re good for is looking pretty and cleaning,

They’re trying to be a jock rather than a “nerd” even though their true passion is math; but being smart is against the rules, you can only get a full ride to college as an athlete so man up,

Because if they say one thing that goes against who they’re pretending to be the truth about them will be published.

We need to break social norms, break the silence,

Appreciate people for who they are and who they want to be and not have to worry about people judging us and our decisions.

You don’t have to change to prove yourself to others, just to keep your societal position.