Stella Tavilla

My name is Christophe, and I don’t wear pants

February 15, 2023

No one alive today on this earth has ever seen me wear pants.

Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact remains that, for as long as I can remember in my life, pants simply haven’t been a part of my lifestyle.

I’ve scoured old family photo albums from that of my father, to my grandmother, to my aunt and uncle.

Nothing. Not one picture in which I am wearing pants.

I don’t remember when it started, I don’t remember why and, honestly, I sometimes even question how. Over the days, months and years of my life, ever since I can remember, it was simply the way I existed. 

The longer I didn’t wear pants, the stronger my resolve became to never wear them.

The act of wearing shorts every day is such an essential part of my life that the daily decision goes unnoticed, but the reactions to it do not.

For as long as I’ve been wearing shorts year-round, I’ve been made fun of for it. 

Beginning in middle school, I started to get called names and people stopped hanging out with me. But the worst moment for me was when my own family started to get publicly embarrassed by it.

Eighty-five percent of high schoolers have felt peer pressure at some point in their lives, according to a Nov. 25, 2022 Choosing Therapy article. I was no different.

At home, at school and everywhere in between people were trying to change me. Trying to get me to stop being weird, to stop being embarrassing, to stop being different.

In that moment I had a choice: I could be the person everyone wanted me to be and lose a critical part of myself that made me the unique person I am, or I could stick to who I was and face the consequences.

After much thought and reflection, I chose the latter. I couldn’t be happier today that I did.

In this era of oversharing and of being especially conscious of one’s public image, not feeling comfortable with who you are is becoming ever more of a problem, especially among younger generations like ours.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans aren’t comfortable in their own skin, according to a Feb. 18, 2020 New York Post Article.

We are becoming more and more uncomfortable with the things that make us human—the things that make us unique.

It’s a true modern-day tragedy and one that I have suffered through much in my life so far. 

Wearing what I want to, no matter what people think, may not set the world on fire, but it’s the part I play in fighting against this destructive ideology. 

Even today, I still get judgmental looks whenever I’m walking through campus. I still have people come up to me and ask me why I dress the way I do.

Interactions that in the past would’ve shut me down and made me self-conscious now make me smile. 

Maybe it makes me weird, maybe it makes me crazy, but it also makes me “me.” And my sense of authentic self is something I wouldn’t give up for anything.

Embrace what makes you different. Embrace what makes you unique.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.

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