Feb 23, 2012


Travis Lascody - Lanphier High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

I believe that what you look like does not define who you are as a person, whether you have tattoos, piercings, or a crazy hairstyle. You should not be judged for how you look, but on what you do. The doctor that performs your next surgery could be covered in tattoos underneath his scrubs. My sophomore year of high school I decided to dread my hair, knowing that to many people it would be frowned upon.

I have also found a new respect for people that I meet, and try to get to know them before I judge them.

I was volunteering at Lincoln Memorial Gardens one day working a tree planting station. It involved the kids making flower pots out of newspaper. The box, that the tool to make to pots came in, said "pot maker." While working the stand an elderly lady came up and said “You have dreads and that says 'pot maker.' I wonder what this stand is up to?” What that lady did not realize is that I was volunteering for the National Honor Society at my school.  The lady was quick to judge me based on my hair and did not take the time to get to know the real me. Being judged so openly has helped me see that you should get to know the person behind the looks.

I had just finished pumping gas, and was walking into the gas station when a man walking out gave me a weird look. He said “did you do that to your hair on purpose?” When I responded with "yes," he shook his head in disgust and walked away. He did not take the time to ask about my future goals, find out how I wanted to become a police officer, and I was well on my way to going to college for it.

People today are more and more open to changes from the norm, but some people are not used to seeing things like cops, doctors, and lawyers covered in tattoos. When I dreaded my hair I did not do it for a certain reason or cause, but just that I thought it looked cool. Since dreadlocks have been connected to bad activities, I have been associated with these activities. Their perception of me would be changed if they did ask questions to find out the true me.

With the encounters that I have had, I have learned that people will judge you for how you look. I have also found a new respect for people that I meet, and try to get to know them before I judge them. I feel that there are people out there that have the same philosophy when it comes to seeing and meeting new people. I Believe that what you do in life, not what you look like, should be what your judged off of.