Anna Schultz-Black And White Girl From Behind

Overcoming Friend-Shaming

When I was younger, I guess I put a lot of stake in the way that my friends thought about me and the things I did. I can remember even as young as eight or nine being shamed by someone for liking Spongebob because the show was stupid. I ended up not watching it for at least a year despite the fact that it was one of my favorite shows. Then, I was shamed multiple times by multiple friends for liking anime and manga and started to read and watch in secret. I even got shamed for liking Linkin Park in high school because they weren’t “real” rock or heavy metal and ended up not listening to them even though they’re a band I grew up loving. 


I’m sure a lot of other people have gone through this, too. And these examples are just the ones off the top of my head. Looking back, I really hate the way I let people make me feel about my passions. I may not always be interested in the coolest or most recent trends, but the things that I am interested in are things that make me think, laugh, cry, and love. So why did I let people shame me for them? Why didn’t I basically say “fuck you” and go back to listening to Linkin Park’s hit album Hybrid Theory?


The truth is I don’t know. I don’t remember caring a whole lot about what people thought about the things I wore or the things I said, but my interests seemed to matter a lot. I would have been so much happier if I had been able to brush off the shitty comments people made about me while I read Naruto’s latest chapter, but fifteen year old me was not very smart. 


Now, though, I really make an effort to be myself and unashamed. I refuse to let people bring me down because of the things I like or the music I grew up with. Since I’ve been able to do this, I’ve been a lot happier and more content with who I am. On top of that, I’ve made friends who accept my interests and maybe even share them. So fuck all the people who made fun of me or tried to shame me. I’m going to be who I am, and no one will stop me.