You DO have to try.
Unfortunately, the world does NOT revolve around you and just because you don't feel like conforming, doesn't mean that the world is going to bend to your choices.
I'm not trying to start a debate here, but I am hearing from some of "my" kids out there that they should be able to do what they want, when they want, where they want and with whom they want. I'm sorry, it's just not that way.
The song, in its essence is saying that it's okay to be who you are. That you don't have to be like everyone else in how they look or act. Your own uniqueness is what makes you who you are and I encourage you to embrace that. But I have the rebellious few that say it gives them the green light to do whatever.
In your youth, that is the time to find out who you are. What you like and don't like. What you want to do with your future. Who you will love. And what you love about you. While there is pressure out there for you to fit in with everyone else, there is some truth to that and if you choose to go outside of that, you are at your own peril. Now, I know there are going to be some parents out there that will tell me that I am trying to get their children to stifle their own uniqueness. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
What I am saying is that, for example, if you feel you don't want to wear clothes ever again, because you feel it's who you are... there will be consequences for that. Your society will make sure you feel the pressure for your choices. But you're right. It is your choice. Just be ready for the aftermath.
Society is made up of order. People, thoughts, ideas, animals, insects- everything- are put into categories. Like it or not. If you choose to wear dark eyeliner, dress in black, paint your nails and lips black, do not be upset when you are tucked into the "goth" category.
Every day, when you wake up, you have choices to make. If you are going to go to school, you have to conform enough with the rest of society to put clothes on. When you get home, if you want to strip down to your birthday suit, more power to you. But while you don't have to try, try, try... you do have to try.
When you get out into the grown-up world, you will have to drive on the correct side of the road. You will have to follow the laws that your peers have set before you. You will not get the job if you don't put clothes on. You will be judged- right or wrong- by every single person you encounter. Snap judgements. You do it. They do it. Your are perceived as a certain kind of person within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. Seven seconds! What is the first impression that you want to make?
So, for my rebellious crew. Yes, you DO have to try. You have to put on a modicum of effort to fit in with society in order for things to function and keep functioning. You have to wear clothes. You can't just fly off the handle when you feel upset. You have to do the things your teachers or bosses ask of you. You can't smoke pot. You can't steal. You have to conform, or suffer the consequences... getting fired, failing your class, going to jail, being made fun of, getting into fights. If these are consequences you can deal with then you are free to do as you like. Just don't be surprised when the hammer falls, and don't look to be rescued. These are the choices you make.
There are ways to make changes in society so if you want to put out a petition about the wearing of clothing... knock yourself out. In the mean time, put some clothes on, participate in the human culture as much as you are comfortable and THEN, be the real you.
You don't have to weigh a magical amount. You don't have to have the certain style, color, length of hair. You don't have to wear designer clothes. You don't have to eat certain foods. You don't have to listen to certain styles of music. You don't have to go to certain colleges.
But you do... have to participate. You do have to obey the laws. You do have to conform to a certain extent to get along with the rest of the world or be strong enough when the rest of the world puts you into a certain category.
My kids, I don't mean to sound harsh, but I have promised you from the very beginning to be honest and not pull punches. I love you guys so very much, but you're killing me with the "It's my right..." stuff. If you seek change, go through the proper channels. My example of nudist beliefs belongs to no one in particular and it was exaggerated enough, that I hope I made that exact point. Exaggeration. Please don't tell your parents to email me to tell me that I am unfair. I don't make the rules, my babies. But, I do have to follow them and still be my own person- as do you. If you quit fighting so much and turn your focus to positive things, you'll find that life doesn't have to be so hard.
Thank you for the email and the group chat that prompted this blog post. It was super informative and I loved all the honest sharing!