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This I Believe: The Sneetches

Gabrielle Gardner headshot
Dan LoGrasso
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

I believe that Sneetches are Sneetches. This probably sounds ridiculous to most people, but it is a belief that has greatly affected my outlook on life. In the children’s story “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss there is a very important lesson about people and their differences. In this story, there are Sneetches that live on the beach (or the beaches, as Dr. Seuss would say).  Some of these Sneetches were born with big stars on their bellies while others hadn’t anything on theirs. The star-bellied Sneetches thought they were better until they went through a whole ordeal involving a star on-and-off machine, and a certain entrepreneur, Mr. McMonkey McBean. After they couldn’t tell the groups apart anymore, they decided to just accept everyone for how they were.

A lot of beauty is overlooked because it is unconventional.

I try to do this in my life by never judging people or holding them to my beliefs or morals. I believe that people are people and they all have the right to be accepted. Being different should not isolate people and just because someone is different doesn’t mean they should change to fit in. The only person that anyone has to justify anything to is their own self.

This story also has another moral to me. A lot of people feel insecure about the way that they look and how they compare to everyone else. I sometimes wish I could change something about myself. This story has always reminded me that just because society thinks that something is beautiful does not mean that it is or isn’t. A lot of beauty is overlooked because it is unconventional. If everyone went around changing themselves to fit everyone else, there would be no originality. This is especially true for me because I have a rib cage that is different from most other people. I was born with a sternum that tilts in instead of staying flat like normal. This didn’t really bother me until I started to compare myself to everyone else. I was different and I could see it clearly every summer at the pool. I could get surgery to fix it. This surgery, however, is painful, expensive, and involves a metal bar being slid into my chest and staying there for two years. Should I go through all of that just so that I can look like everyone else? I decided that it wasn’t worth it. I should just accept that my belly doesn’t have a star on it and live my life confident as who I am.

Truthfully, I am still working on the confidence thing. It will probably take some time before I can fully accept myself. However, I feel that the story of the Sneetches helps me to remember that it’s not outward appearance that should matter because society is fickle. Just when one changes one’s self to be accepted, society will decide that it likes a different type of look. In the end, “Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.”  

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