I’m sorry I’m not this perfect girl,
A girl you can stick in your box.
A box of stereotypes.
I don’t wear pink and purple.
I don’t wear frilly shirts.
I don’t wear skirts or dresses.
I have never painted my nails.
Call me unladylike.
Call me a disgrace.
I will not apologize for being myself.
For wearing what makes me comfortable,
Making me proud of who I am.
I will not adhere to your box of stereotypes.
This is the goddamn 21st century.
Don’t tell me I’m being stubborn.
Don’t tell me to get over myself and put on the dress.
Don’t tell me that I should grow out my hair because it’s cut too “manly.”
Hell yes, I’m stubborn.
I have to be,
If I’m not, you’ll walk all over me.
You’ll change me into something I’m not,
Make me just another grain of sand in history.
I wasn’t put on earth to conform to you,
Make you feel that times aren’t changing.
I was put here to stand out,
To speak loud and unapologetically.
To tell you that this world,
Stereotypes will not last any longer.
I will be who I am and show it proudly.
I am a girl.
I cut my hair short.
I wear men’s clothes.
I do not paint my nails,
And I like it that way.
You will not change me.
—Mikayla Jaques, Grade 11.