Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Difficulties of Fitting In and Being Yourself

This week’s blog is centered on the story of a sophomore woman, Alexandra Franklin, at the University of Alabama.  The article, “Part of a Whole, but Still Me” focuses on her reluctance to be anything but a feminist.  She was not the stereotypical young girl interested in ballet or being beautiful.  She remarks: “I remember my mother chasing me around the house with a tube of coral lipstick, begging: ‘Don’t you want to feel pretty? Don’t you want to look nice?” (Franklin 2011: 1).  Alexandra told her mother that she didn’t care about such things but she actually did.  She just did not want to have to choose between being smart and pretty.  She wanted to be Alexandra.  When she met her boyfriend, she felt as if her feminist strength had been diminished.  Then she felt that she reclaimed that strength through anorexia and bulimia.  This led to more challenges in her life and relationship.  However, her boyfriend stuck by her side and continues to be a valued confidant in her life.  He helped her during her darkest moments and helped her come to terms with her disorder.
 I think that this story caught my attention because eating disorders are not always talked about at Colgate University and it is important to discuss this condition since it is one of the leading causes of death for girls between the ages of 15 and 24.  This article helped me realize that we are not as alone as we sometimes may think.  It also makes me realize how detrimental categorizing people can be.  Alexandra just wanted to be herself, but she felt pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and expectations.  Thankfully, Alexandra was able to be the individual she wanted to be as well as a girlfriend.  She realized her full potential and all of these things helped her continue to heal.  I encourage everyone to read this and find some type of solace in being who they are.  
                                                                                                          Natalie George

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