Written By: Morgan Austin
Recently in one of my classes, my teacher assigned us a project to write a research paper about an argumentative stance that we got from a documentary or book. Originally, I had a documentary all planned out, but when I went to look for it on Netflix, they had taken it off. We had a while to find the documentary for out project, but during most of that time, I was stumped. I had no idea what movie I wanted to do, and I knew that I didn't have enough time to finish a book for the project. Just when I was about to consider doing a documentary that I had already seen a million times before, my brother introduced me to a documentary about Bronies. Now, for those of you who don't know, a Brony is typically an adult male fan of the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. My brother is a proud Brony, but since becoming a Brony, he has gotten teased a bit about it. While he stands up to the teasing people, I couldn't help but feel bad about all the other people that like the show that get teased about it too. So, I decided to use the documentary for my project and argue that while many accusations and assumptions are made about Bronies, they are actually compassionate, kind people who have a great sense of community with each other. My brother was ecstatic about my choice and my teacher was very interested in the topic when I explained it to her. Later in the week though, I experienced the same feeling that my brother might have felt when people found out about him being a Brony.
My teacher asked if she could use me as an example for how to find research from the librarian, which I had done earlier, and I said sure. When she explained to the class how the librarian helped me find information for my unusual topic, all the students instantly wanted to know what my topic was. When my teacher told them, I saw many of the kids in my class holding in obvious laughter or saying things like "Really?" or "Oh my gosh!" with somewhat mocking voices. Obviously I looked upset, because my teacher began to get angry with the class and said that those kinds of attitudes were exactly what I was arguing against in my paper. I could feel my cheeks getting red with a second of embarrassment that instantly turned into anger. While I was angry that they were following typical stereotypes, I was mainly angry because I felt like I could imagine my brother in the middle of the room with us. I felt like all of their laughter and rude comments were directed right at him. In that moment of embarrassment, I could have decided that I would switch my documentary all together so that I would get less attention about my topic.
I could have followed the status and switched to a movie that everyone else was doing so that I could avoid future embarrassment. I could have done those things, but instead, I became more passionate about my topic. I knew that I had to take a stand, not only for my brother, but for any other people around the world who felt victimized because of something that they liked and for simply being themselves. I decided to fight for what I believe in, and that's how everyone should live their lives. You shouldn't have to hide who you are, or stop liking something because other people don't agree with you. You have to embrace your true self and do what makes you happy. Don't try to be like everyone else, because the truth is that if everyone liked the same things and looked the same way, the world would be a really boring place.
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