Because they didn’t like me, I would walk into class in my clothing that is different from what everyone else is wearing, terrified that someone would point me out and laugh. My makeup is heavier and darker than everyone else’s. My hair is short and of unnatural color. What people see on the outside is not necessarily the exact representation of what my personality looks like. Who I am as a person is hidden behind the dark clothing and excessive makeup. Just because the other girls wear Victoria’s Secret apparel everyday and their eyebrows are glued to their forehead, does not mean on any circumstance that I must look like that as well. Everyday I hear the same things; “Look out, the emo’s coming.” “Oh god, it’s her.” People acted like I was a disease. They didn’t like me. I used to put myself down all the time because people would tell me I was different. Before I knew that different was okay, I would go home and look up what to wear to fit in. I would search my closet to find the preppiest clothes I had just so I could make it through one school day with someone to talk to. People didn’t like me, and I slowly began to think that no one would. But you know what, that mindset is exactly what got me here. What got me to believe that no one has to like me. Because what I do as a person has no effect on other people. It is my life, and my body. My choices. Because they didn’t like me, I realized that I am my own person. In seventh grade, I came out to everyone as bisexual. The extensive amounts of hate I had received caused me mental pain and anxiety attacks. If words were weapons, the people who spoke to me during that time must have had army tanks and aimed them straight towards my chest. My heart is very welcoming and accepting, even though it was falling to pieces. I began to think that being so kind to everyone was only hurting me. I would give one person my everything and they would tear it in half. I picked up the pieces and moved on. Hate and dislike fuels success. There are two kinds of people in this world and as of right now, those two types of people are not at all what I have accepted myself to be. I am beautiful. I am me. I have come to the realization that I am beautiful and no one can take that away from me. I think of all the people who have dragged blades across their arteries, tied careful and elegant knots only to have their lives ripped away from them by the throat just because they were told that they weren’t good enough. I believe that I am beautiful because of all the things that I don’t have. I don’t have flawless skin, I am short, I am not skinny, but that makes me rare. That makes people want me. If I am not the typical barbie-style girl, then I must be doing something right. I may not fit into society’s standards as every other girl happens to, but I do know that I can be whatever I want to be and I will stand up for what I believe is right, even if I am standing by myself for the rest of my life. I will not die with “You were never good enough” as the last thing that runs through my head. My life will not end with carefully tied knots and shiny blades, but with a well-lived life and beautiful memories. Beauty is perception and I will always perceive that I am beautiful. I am my first priority and no one will take who I truly am from me.