Viewpoints: To change society, people must dare to be different

Bella Thorne arrives at Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood party last month in Beverly Hills – a glamorous image of young people in popular culture.
Bella Thorne arrives at Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood party last month in Beverly Hills – a glamorous image of young people in popular culture. The Associated Press

Look around the room. Are you the most attractive? The smartest? The wealthiest?

These are the questions many people ask themselves, but do they they dare ask: Does it even matter?

We live in a society of comparisons. So what happens when we don’t measure up to the standards we set for ourselves? We tell ourselves that we aren’t as good as someone else, aren’t worth as much as the next person. What a slippery slope. With people lacking self-confidence, it is so easy to become a society without a voice, or worse, a society controlled by a few with the rest too afraid to change what they don’t like.

Where I see people who are dissatisfied and lack confidence, companies see dollar signs. These are the people they market to; they will tell you that no matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough, but you might come close if you buy a certain product.

But why are you put down? Well, how else would society control you? If you think you’re special, if you think your opinion means something, you are dangerous, you will change things. And society abhors change.

Why is change necessary? In the world we live in, we are told that we need to be skinnier, taller, shorter and make more money. We’re told that sex is OK, but too much makes you a slut. We’re told that depression is the depressed person’s fault.

Many people are aware of these skewed views and don’t approve of them, but they don’t have enough confidence to think they can change the world, or think someone else will do it for them. And yet people complain about all that is messed up.

What people fail to realize is that we have the ability to control society. When we fail to act, we prevent change from happening. When we as the masses do not speak up against things we wish to change, we become part of the problem. Once we start sticking up for ourselves, society will be influenced by us – not the other way around.

So how do you start? In the simplest terms, rebel and refuse to accept what the world tells you. I don’t care if that means getting up every morning and telling yourself you are worth something. Then start voicing your opinion; the more people try to quiet you, the more you should talk. Stop waiting for other people. Be the one to stand up and you might see people beside you. People will listen; some have the same problems with society you do. We as a society like to conform, so why not conform to ideals we like, that lift us up instead of drag us down?

I’ve been told I cannot change the world, that one person cannot make a difference. But my whole goal in life banks on the fact that I do matter. I want to help people and change society. I want to change the way people see themselves. I want to change the world and leave it better than when I came into it.

Am I overconfident? I don’t think so because to change the world you must first be crazy enough to think you can. So from now on I will rebel, and I will wake up every morning and tell myself I am beautiful and I am worth it. I will tell others they are worth it, and call society out for the lies it tells us. I will do my part to change the world.

Arianna Daniel is a 17-year-old senior at Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks.