Representation Matters

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Photo by Olenka Kotyk on Unsplash

They’re blond, they’re pale and their problems all get solved, resolved. Laugh track in the back, everything’s fine and they hug it out. Everything ends on time. Everything fits in the 30 minute slot, once a week, prime time.

It’s not just a TV show, it’s not just about a functional extended family fun full house florescent glow, it’s a window. For an impressionable young and dumb kid, this window was a glimpse into what she thought was reality. Not fiction, but a depiction of actuality. An understanding of what was acceptable, desired and admired.

And then she compares herself and ultimately cries in despair. Because as she looks from one surface to another, a TV screen to a mirror, she notices, they don’t match. She’s not pale, she’s not blond. Eyes shaped almond, not big and round. Family far from functional, she concludes, White is right and I am wrong. 

As time passes and progresses, this kid’s growth is stunted, regresses. She’s taller in height, and her physical size expands, and yet she stands, stooped. Back bent, eyes down, arms curled in as she attempts to take up less space, a girl with no face. Lacking in self worth and self confidence, the overwhelming monolithic, prolific, ubiquitous monster of a beast of the media has pushed her to resist her own existence, because it’s loud and clear, there’s no space for her here. I don’t belong, I don’t fit, so let’s just make myself disappear. 

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Don’t tell me

I appreciate your concern.

I know you don’t want me to fail.

I know you don’t want me to suffer, to be broke, to be sad, to be judged, mishandled and derailed.

But if one more person tells me to drop what I’m doing

to stop

to quit

to give it all up

I’m gonna say

fuck you.

Don’t tell me to quit my dream.

I already know I haven’t progressed.

I already know that it hasn’t been easy.

You think I’m stupid? You think I don’t know?

The problem is, is that I do know.

I hear you. I do.

I totally see what you see too.

How that one kid has had more momentum in the past 3 months than me in the past 4 years.

How I’m still living in a roach infested apartment, while friends are buying houses

getting married

making babies

making money

while I’m in the dark, with my tears, my fears, my endless queries.

What am I to do?

Quit the dream and get a real job?

Shut the fuck up.

Stop telling me to quit my dream.

Make some money.

Do acting as a hobby.

No. If it’s a hobby, it’s not a commitment.

It’s my passion.

Have some compassion.

Leave me the fuck alone!

Don’t tell me.

I already know.