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  • My biggest challenge this year is making the decision between conformity and rebellion. As a young woman, sometimes I feel like I must act a certain way or dress a certain way just to please others, but is that what I really want? Must I make others happy to satisfy myself?

    Mami, for example thinks I’m at an age where I have to dress “more like a woman.” She wants me to take care of my nails, do my hair, wear some make-up here and there and wear clothing that she considers to be “fashionable”. I‘m the type of girl that likes to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and some combat boots or sneakers, and I’d be all set. Mami wants me to be the kind of girl that wears dresses, colorful jeans, flowery shirts, cardigans, sandals, heels, scarves, polished-nails and the list goes on and on. While I want to goof-off, she wants me to be more reserved. I want to laugh, but she wants me to giggle. As I want to devour hamburgers, she wants me to nibble on some salads. I love to treasure natural beauty, while my mom likes to think people can always enhance their beauty.

    I started to listen to her, and got a new wardrobe, got my hair done more often and let her do my nails every other day. At first I didn’t mind because I was getting more attention from my friends and classmates. I even felt prettier, however, I also felt uncomfortable. I simply didn’t feel like myself. I felt like I was being asked to act, and dress like every other girl and to try so hard to impress everyone else with my looks. When I explained this to Mami, she just made the assumption that I was a lesbian, which I can’t blame her since she said so out of ignorance. But I can’t help but wonder if everyone thinks the same way as Mami does…

    I also want to set an example for my two younger sisters. They always love to do the things I do and try their best to be just like me. I don’t want my sisters to be in the position that I am in, where they feel obligated to dress a certain way to meet the standards of a woman-figure. However, I also don’t want them to feel like they have to do the things I do, just because I’m their role model. Generally, I want my sisters to discover who they are, without Mami’s or my opinions to influence them. But at the same time, I don’t want them to rebel against Mami because it would be unfair to her.

    Even though I might be rebelling against Mami’s beliefs of a woman, I still wear whatever I feel comfortable in. I find myself happier and feeling less restrained when I dress and act the way I want. Even though my mother wanted me to be more feminine, she began to understand that that is who I am. As I grow up, I will continue to be cut between the adversity of rebellion and conformity... and for as long as I live I will do whatever it takes to make myself happy.
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