Why I Want My Kids To Be Weird

by Lauren Martin

I hope my kids are weird. I hope they wear capes to school and pursue cool hobbies, like bug collecting, archery and Anime. I hope they dress to stand out and never invest in the trends of their peers.

I hope they never say something to sound cool or copy the opinions of others. I hope they pursue passions that are unique and inspiring. I hope they have their own style and their own ideas. I hope they are passionate enough to be individuals, to stand by themselves.

I hope they make friends based on similar interests and compatible souls rather than status and fake motives. I hope they sit in the corner while the “cool” kids make fools of themselves and make others feel invisible. I hope they pay attention, take it all in, silently and proud. I hope they learn from the monotony of their peers that being like everyone else is a fate much worse than being strange.

I hope they make friends with some teachers and find new ways of writing and speaking. I hope they invent their own languages and codes, making up dream worlds and fantasy lands.

I hope they find comfort in their solitude and never let their imagination die. I hope they face adversity with their chests out and heads held high. I hope they are challenged and learn early in life that people with the biggest mouths usually have the least to say. I hope they see through the fake girls and the macho guys.

I want my kids to be weird because being weird is the best thing you can be in a school full of phonies and fakes. Weird is better than popular and pretty because, unlike looks and status, weird never fades.

Weird lasts long past the halls of junior high and the fluorescent lights of high school. One day, when they are older and more confident, their weirdness will be recognized as unique and inventive.

Their weird quirks will be praised as confident and secure. Their individual style and thoughts will be envied and respected. Because weird is what defines successful inventors, designers and artists. It's what will make them respected professionals with a vision and a style all their own. Weird is the best thing you can be… once you remove yourself from the opinion of your ignorant peers.

While I don’t wish them to experience the trauma of bullying or the glares of girls in Pink Juicy jumpsuits, I don't want them to be recognized as the same either. While I never want them to feel the sting of insults and juvenile taunting, I also don't want them to conform to their oppressors. Because if you ask me, it’s better to be hated for who you are than to be accepted for someone you’re not, and I hope my kids will never vie for the attention of others.

Because I used to be a follower, a copy-cat, a girl obsessed with fitting in, and I hate myself for it. I hate myself for wasting all those years trying to fit in when I could have been standing out.

I hate that I didn't have enough confidence and pride to just dress, talk and act in the manner that made me happiest. I hate that I let the opinions of others mold my style, hobbies and uniqueness to nothing more than another blonde girl in a sea of Tiffany necklaces and jeans from Abercrombie.

But I will make sure my kids are not like that. They will not wear Tiffany necklaces, but ones they make themselves. They will not wear Abercrombie, but find their own unique brands. They may even wear Darth Vader suits to school or tights like Robin Hood. They will be innovators, trendsetters and leaders, even if none of their peers see it yet.

Photo via We Heart It