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  • This is my 14 year old daughter Tuva. She was standing in the doorway after a shower, the light was beautiful and I asked if I could take a picture of her. She looked up at me and gave me one of her rare smiles. She seemed happy.

    She is a big fan of music and bands like My Chemical Romance and shows her dedication with her style (emo). Doing that hasn't been easy for her since the small town where we live is not the best place to be accepted for looking different or having different opinions. She has had a hard time accepting that other kids in school stare at her and talk behind her back about how strange she looks.

    Just before christmas she went to the yearly xmas party at school. She looked beautiful in her black outfit. Later that evening she came home looking happy/proud but disturbed at the same time. I asked her what it was and she showed me a diploma. She had been selected to be "Coolest Girl in School" by the other students in 7th to 9th grade. The first time ever a 7th grader received that award.

    She was confused, happy, proud and embarrassed at the same time. She had a hard time understanding how the kids that stared at her also voted her to be the coolest girl in school. I gave her a long hug.

    As she went to bed I sat by myself crying for a long time. I was so proud of her. She has made her own decisions, not just following others.

    She has walked her own way.
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