By Amanda Gabriel
Elm Staff Writer
Earlier in the week, one of my friends asked me for some advice on how to talk to her crush. This question got me thinking about how she, much like many other people, get stumped on what to say to the person he or she likes. I have read countless articles from Cosmo and Buzzfeed that discuss ways to approach your crush or techniques to use to get them to notice you; yet all of these articles perpetuate the notion that we need to be someone we are not.
Society tells us that women need to be classy but not slutty; boys need to be masculine but not in the jerk-kind-of-way. But why do we need to be anything at all that is different than what we are on the inside? Who set these cultural standards, or better yet, why do we continue to perpetuate them? There is no reason to ask someone how to address your crush because the answer is to address him or her any other way you would approach a normal person. Can the moment be stressful or nerve wracking? Yes, but only because we are scared of messing up the situation. What if he or she thinks I’m awkward? There is no reason to be nervous or feel awkward when talking to anyone, including your crush, because you should just be yourself.
I despise unwritten rules that explain you should hold back your bad habits upon first hanging out or having a conversation with your crush. Under no circumstances should you hold back a piece of yourself. The next time you find yourself in this situation, take a moment to reflect on your emotions and ask yourself why you are altering your individuality for someone you do not even know. Is it truly for them, or is it because you have been conditioned to do so? If the other person does not accept you for who you are, then they do not deserve your time.
Putting on a façade prolongs the realization that our cultural norms are façades within themselves. We as a people complete certain actions without even realizing that what we are doing is wrong. We are quick to judge others because we have observed our friends and family doing the same. Because we are quick to judge others, we want to prevent people from doing the same to us and feel the need to be fake and show no sign of weakness that allows for the slightest bit of criticism. Only when we realize that altering our appearances or personalities to fit the fraud is in fact the real mistake, not what we are taught to believe is wrong with our bodies and minds, will we then be able to fix other problems in our daily lives.