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Today, our hair is full of color, our skin is marked up and pierced, and we are entirely changed from our natural selves. Of course, this was our choice to make, and in most cases, it is one that we are proud of and adore. This inclination to change is only becoming more popular as times goes on and, therefore, exceedingly more acceptable in this modern era. However there will always be people that will judge us for being “fake,” as they have labeled us as. 

These outside opinions of our appearance will be forced upon us whether we like it or not. They may think that we are changing ourselves just to keep up with modern trends, it may be that they think we’re pretending to be someone we’re not, or that we’re going through a phase that we will later regret. No matter their conclusion, though, the truth is that our decision is deemed wrong and unnatural. But, we do not need their approval and we do not need their understanding as long as these are choices we make are ones that help us on our journey to find our true selves. 

The changes that we make for ourselves may include: fake nails, colored hair, trendy haircuts, tattoos, piercings, et cetera, but they can all be easily labeled as fake by anyone that views them. So, let’s set the record straight about what they really are, here and now, shall we.

 Her choice to get tattoos is not her mutilating her body, making a spur of the moment decision that she’ll regret when she gets older, or trying to be edgier than she appears. Her tattoos are a form of self-expression, they are a piece of art, a memory, an experience, and a story. They are a second layer of skin, and another aspect of her to learn, love, and admire. 

Her choice to get piercings is an accessory and an added sense of style. It is the same as wearing rings or necklaces despite the fact that, yes, we must put holes into our bodies in order to wear our accessories. But, of course, that is once again our choice to make and well worth the effort so that we may be fully satisfied with the number of diamonds, hoops, or industrial bars we get to complete our look. 

Her choice to color her hair is an added layer of personality and a form of expressing herself. It might be her favorite color that brightens every morning because she gets to wake up and see the color on herself in the mirror. It may be that it suits her better and makes her feel more like herself. And it might just be a way to help her stand out since she’s been hiding her whole life and is ready to step out of the shadows.

Her choice to get a haircut, whether drastically different, trendy, edgy, or just barely noticeable, is a desired change and, therefore, is necessary. The cut is one that frames her face better, adds more dimension, and is more suitable to her appearance and personality. It represents her coming into her own and represents the change she sees within herself that she wants to reflect on the outside as well. 

Her manicure is a form of self-care, a way to top off any outfit, and a way to portray herself as composed and ready to take on whatever the day has in store. Above all it may be a way for her to save time every week, rather than her having to paint her nails time and time again only to have them chipped and entirely ruined within a day. 

The point is that the choices we make to change our appearance allows us to reflect our true selves to the world in a way that they may understand if they only tried. But more importantly, it is a form of self-expression, it is a way for us to share our personalities, interests, and stories. It is a way for us to accept and embrace ourselves: be as true to who we are on the outside as we are on the inside. It is a way for us to become more confident in ourselves. Through change we are not creating a fake version of ourselves, but one that is more true, more real, and certainly beautiful and worth celebrating. 

So ladies, gentlemen, and everyone under the sun, celebrate the change that you welcome into your life, express yourselves, and know that you are beautiful in any and every way.

Melissa is a Junior at Emmanuel College majoring in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. She enjoys finding new creative outlets, frequenting local coffee and book shops, and admiring the night sky and rainy weather.
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