On the first day of school there were obviously a lot of colorful freshman, who looked like I did freshman year, you know. Crazy hair and bracelets and colorful clothing and whatnot. And some of those godawful cocky and rude sophomores/juniors were looking at the new kids and saying things like “HAHAHAHA omg, they look so dumb.” This girl with blue/blonde hair, black and pink skinny jeans and a ripped up black jean jacket with little chains on it walked by with her friends, minding her own business. And I heard someone in this group of sophomore boys say “god, if you’re going to do this whole ‘expressing yourself’ thing, at least do it in a way with some form of self respect, like you look ridiculous nobody thinks you look cute”. And then he realized someone other than his friends heard him, and he looked at me and his face kind of lost all trace of emotion. I just threw in my comment, “what is that supposed to mean?” He said nothing. “What does her choice of dress say about her self respect at all?” Still nothing. They just stood there glancing at each other. “In fact I’m pretty sure that would be the exact opposite of self respect or self love; dressing a certain way so as not to offend the fragile sensitivities of the poor passersby.” Finally I got some measurable response, “dude, can you chill? It was a f***ing joke” (how becoming, I know.) so I briefly continued “no, the idea that a 14 year old girl’s self respect should be defined by her type of self expression is a joke. I didn’t see her hurt anybody, did you? Of course not. If you’re going to spit nonsense about self respect and immediately counteract yourself by suggesting that people demonstrate self-care by being sure they’re not visually offending teenage boys, maybe you shouldn’t even open your mouth. Maybe she respects herself enough not to allow the opinions of others to serve as hindrance for her innocent expression.”
— This actually happened, and I hope you do it too. You could really change someone’s life or outlook.