Never would I dream to compare myself to a Christmas tree, but it feels necessary to get my point across.
When you look at your average Christmas tree, it's just that...average. The color of the pine needles are an average shade of green, the trunk boasts an average thickness and it looks plain in hindsight to a decorated Christmas tree.
When you look at me, I stand only 5'8, I have a medium skin tone seen on most Native Americans, an average body size and a normal head of hair that would raise no questions. Though the average eye isn't able to perceive those small things behind all of my decorations, just like you wouldn't be able to notice a plain Christmas tree for what it is after it was heavily decorated.
While making a trip to the grocery store for dinner items, I was stopped by a woman in the pasta aisle and asked if my mother was proud. When I responded with "proud of what?" the woman simply laughed and walked over to her husband and they shared whispers as they disappeared at the end of the aisle. Hearing the comment normally wouldn't have bothered me, but I think about what my mother would think of me if she were here today, I do wonder if she would be proud of the choices I made.
The main direction I seem to be taking this post is right into the complicated, mind boggling assessing of stereotypes. If I were simply a person written on a piece of paper, bases solely on my accomplishments and work ethic, I would be seen as a hard-working model citizen with a good head on her shoulders. Someone that any given person wouldn't be ashamed to look up to.
However when you view my exterior you would swear that because I am half covered in tattoos and my face it scattered with piercings, that I am an unfit part of society and I will never make anything of myself. Hell, people would probably even assume that I failed to complete high school and now not only am I jobless but I am homeless as well.
Stereotypes are a bitch, but they are easy to come by. For every person that walks down the aisle of a grocery store and writes my story based on appearance alone, I can think of five people I've done the same thing to. Stereotypes are unfair and a ridiculous way to try and grasp the true identity of someone else. Though we perform the act of judging others everyday...and for what?
Have you ever been read wrong, misjudged or treated unfairly based on personal appearance?
If so, then you know how I feel.
-Unfit for society