It Matters In Your Head- This I Believe


Samantha Crowson, Cougar Tales and Feature Editor

A quote I’m sure you have heard before is, “It’s not what’s outside, but what’s inside that matters.” I’ve always heard it so many times before but I never truly understood, even when I did.

As a kid I rarely argued with my mother. If she told me to “sit down and eat,” I wouldn’t even question it. This was true especially when it came to clothes. She decided what I wore, when I wore it, even now, and I never really minded until I became about 8 years old, the same time when I was taller than every other kid in my grade level.

I remember the harsh words other little girls would say when I wore my bright pink cargo pants that weren’t quite long enough for my lanky legs, with a matching shirt we bought at the thrift shop that only recently became a Merle’s Automotive Supply. Sure I just shrugged it off back then but as I got older the words got meaner, and I definitely wasn’t getting shorter. It was hard being alone at lunch due to the kids shunning me from their table because “You look funny.”

I began asking my mom if maybe I could wear something else or maybe let me pick, but her answer was no. That’s about the age when I actually began to argue with my mom, always ending in the humiliating and boring 10 minutes with my nose in a corner, but I never gave up. During that time I’d like to act cool and say I got over it and told them all some juvenile insult that really did some damage, but I wasn’t that kind of kid. Instead I was the kid who told the teacher, the Snitch, the tattletale.

I guess my mom saw something wrong when third grade came along because she changed my school to La Paloma Academy, where I would wear a red, white, or blue shirt with khaki pants, a uniform, and “Nobody can insult you on your clothes.” She wasn’t technically lying; they didn’t insult the look of my clothes but more, the fact that finding size 7-8 pants that also were long enough for my oversized legs wasn’t easy. This went on till 5th grade when my mom changed my school again and stopped picking what I wore, but still no change. It seemed like I had to face it and deal with the fact that I would probably never fit in.

Finally middle school, I still wore basically the same stuff, new pink cargo pants that were just a bit bigger. I guess I gained a thoughtless outlook at the time but really, I gained a few outcast friends like myself and just didn’t care. I really started to understand that quote. I actually saw that it didn’t matter, but I really didn’t. Even if I don’t care what you think about my donut pants, or my dinosaur dress, I still spend at least 10-15 minutes staring at myself in the mirror wondering, Do I look like an idiot, and How can they insult me?

I believe that even though I know it doesn’t matter, in my head it matters. In my head, while I’m sitting in class looking at everyone else, I’m wondering what they all think of me. I believe that subconsciously every day I will look at myself in the mirror and wonder the same thing. This I believe.