Peer pressure is a huge monster lurking around teenagers in America. This is one of the most difficult stages in a person’s life. People are discovering who they really are and want to be accepted and loved. This is also the time where their peers can be the cruelest. For teenagers with some sort of disability, growing up becomes something they almost want to avoid.
Despite all the media exposure on the dangers of bullying, it remains a current problem in many schools. In the case of disabled teenagers, they are called this way early on. It’s like having a nasty name tag you cannot get rid of. What they most want is to be normal, and this is the one thing that they can’t seem to be able to accomplish.
There are times when you don’t have a disability; you just look different. Looking different is not always a good thing in today’s schools. Many teenagers usually fall into certain urban groups. They dress like them, act like them and like to be called like them. It provides them with a certain sense of identity. They just have this need to be like everyone else.
There is something in the way they look that prevents this from happening. Sometimes it’s early baldness, a crooked nose, big feet or anything. Teenagers are very vulnerable to being pointed out for having something that looks weird on them.
The video below is about a very brave young woman and her life struggle growing up. She doesn’t have a disability, but she certainly looks different. Different is not always bad.
Maria Perkins is a young woman who knew from a very young age she would be different. It all started with a white dot on one of her fingers. She has a skin condition called vitiligo. This condition takes place when your skin doesn’t have enough pigmentation. The white dots start becoming white patches. Over time these get bigger and slowly spread throughout your body.
When Mariah is growing up, she doesn’t want to look different. What she wants the most is to look like everyone else. When she goes back to school as a teenager, she decides to do something radical to hide her condition. She starts using makeup and is happy with the results initially.
After her condition spreads, it slowly starts to become apparent that something is going on with that makeup. One day, she decides to ditch the makeup and show the entire world what she really looks like. Different is not always bad. Different is beautiful!