Fitting in: Boys vs. Girls

Men
By David Gaskill

When presented with the topic of “fitting in,” I initially turned up my nose and scoffed: “Pshaw, fitting in is dumb and we are all snowflakes.” Men don’t try to fit in, they just wear clothes and shower. However, I may not have looked closely enough at myself and the other men around me.
I don’t want to re-state what has been stated a thousand times over and say that “society” demands you to be lean and cut, to have calves sculpted out of marble, 18” arms and rockin’ washboard abs. In real life, nobody is going to entirely discount you if you don’t look like early nineties Mark Wahlberg.
Both men and women can pass judgement based on someone’s physical appearance without attempting to learn anything about the individual. My point is, people–regardless of identified gender–can be catty and mean. You may look in the mirror and not like what you see, but aesthetics are just material.
This being said, if there is something about your physical bod that you don’t like, change it. Want to make some gains? Do some research and believe in yourself. Want to lose some fat? Do your research and believe in yourself. Either way, the real key to success is MOTIVATION. Set your goals, work hard, believe in yourself and anything is possible.
In regards to yourself, never change for anyone else, no matter who they are. YOU should only change for YOU. Fitting in is dumb, but people struggle with social status, or whatever the kids are calling it. What even are the benefits to being “popular?” As long as you have some friends who are honest and trustworthy, you should be happy. Soon enough, you will leave these halls and never look back, so why waste your time worrying about something as silly as popularity.
Why be a copy-paste of everyone around you? Break the mold, be bold, be different. Like my homeboy Mr. Rogers said, “Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have a chance to bring what’s unique about us to live in a redeeming way.”

Women
by Shay Reynolds
Upon being assigned the topic of fitting in for girls, I’ll be honest that I drew a complete blank. I do think that both girls and boys have a lot of standards they THINK they have to live up to to be accepted and fit in with their peers, though.
But the real deal is that you don’t need to be as pretty and as entertaining as Jennifer Lawrence for people to want to be around you. Anyone who wants to be your friend and hang out with you will want to because they like your personality for what it really is – if they’re a true friend.
A lot of the time the pressures of fitting in are also extremely material for girls, possibly more than boys. I think “fitting in” can contribute to how much attention or guys a girl gets too. And I think girls don’t only consider how likeable they are based on guys, but on actual “likes”.
These days it seems like some girls are willing to sell their souls to get the most “likes” on their selfies – to validate themselves and how much people like them, or find them attractive. Then we end up with a whole lot of cleavage, popped out butts, and extreme filters and editing to get those “likes.” Yet the girls who go about this route are also criticized by the same people fueling the fire. That’s a cycle almost as idiotic and vicious as some parts of our government.
There are about a million other standards for fitting in I found in talking to other girls as well.
But really it could be so much more simple: you should never base your own worth as a human on how many boyfriends you’ve had, or how many friends you have, a letter grade, “likes,” popularity, or whatever else dumb stuff there is that doesn’t personally make you feel good about yourself. You’re not here on this planet for anyone else’s purpose but your own. You should look how you want and do what you want if it makes you happy. End of story.
Boys shouldn’t expect Playboy bunnies of girls, and girls shouldn’t expect Calvin Klein models of boys.

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