The Beauty of Being Different

Be In Love With Being Uniquely You

red and yellow shoes
Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

Weird is an opinion word as far as I’m concerned. But the funny thing is, I have been referred to as that for decades. The reason that I say that it is an opinion word is because, whatever is normal to a specific person or group, no matter how much someone else may object to it can’t possibly be weird.

Sure, it can be unusual. But never weird.

As it turns out, since childhood, I have been attracted to things and people who are “different from what is considered normal” by the general public. The introductory reason that made me so crazy about Michael Jackson, beginning at age 5, was his very different appearance and style.

Nobody’s “Weird” Was Cooler Than Michael Jackson’s

Take the 1984 Grammy awards for example. Yes, MJ dominated the ceremony by winning eight trophies for his iconic Thriller album. But his look was totally eye catching.

He wore a blue marching band style jacket adorned with sequins. A gold sash wrapped around the front of the jacket with gold epaulets at the shoulders.

Adding to that, Michael wore dark, Aviator shades indoors, a single white sparkly glove, a sparkly bracelet and black high water pants to expose his sparkly white socks.

As a child seeing him dressed that way was exciting and cool, largely because no one else dressed that way. Sure, some other celebrities could be unusual in their style choices as well, but none to the degree of MJ, and he was the one that got to me first.

Other celebrities at that same ceremony looked and dressed like ordinary people. Michael stood out and that in and of itself made him seem more special and even creative.

The Knight Rider Car Was Beautifully Different

The same type of thing attracted me to the television series Knight Rider. Here, we had a very sleek, black Trans Am Firebird with a distinctive trailing red light at its hood.

Inside of the car, the dashboard was a virtual playroom of multi colored buttons and lights, complete with two small televisions and a video game console!

The steering wheel looked more like a jet pad steering wheel than a car’s. Yes, it was obviously science fiction, but the look of it and the way that David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight drove it and pushed colorful, labeled buttons was perfectly suited to my creative mindset, even as an elementary school kid. No other car was anything like that one!

White Girls Were Different and That Attracted Me

My adulation for white females began in my formative years as well and even that was based on them being different.

I noticed that their hair, eyes and speech patterns tended to be very different from the black females that I was used to. It started from there, then grew more substantial over time.

Michael Jordan’s Sneakers Were Uniquely Creative

Nearly all males in my life, relatives and friends especially, were sports fans in the late 1980s and early 90s. I was not. Almost every boy that I was around back then obsessed over name brand sneakers, something that simply did not interest me.

Then in the midst of my seventh grade school year in 1990, I suddenly became interested in the constantly talked about, often fawned over Air Jordan basketball shoes. As I mentioned, none of that mattered to me ever and I did not even know who in the hell Michael Jordan was.

But once I actually paid close attention to these pricey and coveted “tenny shoes,” I was fascinated by how unusual they were. The perfect example of that were the Air Jordan 5 edition which made their debut at nearly the exact same time that I became interested in the shoes.

Those 5’s were predominantly white, with a black midsole. There was an oblong shaped “window” near the heel of the midsole that signified the presence of “air” inside.

Towards the front of the midsole was a red shark teeth pattern. The tongue of the shoe was contoured in an unusual shape and was highlighted by a red silhouette of an athletic man jumping high with his legs splayed and arm extended with a basketball in it ready to dunk.

There was a mesh netting pattern on the side panels and the laces were held in place by an interesting thing called a lace lock.

The bottom of the shoe resembled a translucent window with the same jumping man silhouette encased inside of it.

These details were absolutely mesmerizing and represented creativity and uniqueness at the highest level.

I never saw sneakers as being anything more than an afterthought, but these were meticulously designed and just plain different from the usual.

I never thought I would ever care about what the bottom of a shoe looked like until these. So, I soon educated myself on the shoe’s namesake, Jordan himself and that led me to discovering his rapidly ascending legend in the sport of pro basketball.

I became an insatiable fan of his and the sport in general, and it was all made possible by the uniqueness of his sneakers.

Bottom line: If you are considered weird or strange, celebrate that. While people laugh at us because we are different, we can laugh at them because they are all the same!

Personal Development Writer | Deante Unlimited podcast, Host | Deante: Under Construction web series, Star | Deante Young Enterprises, Chief Creative Architect

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