Boston: We Are Who We Are
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Politics and Activism

Boston: We Are Who We Are

Bostonians couldn't care less about what others think of them.

Boston: We Are Who We Are

What makes Boston so unique? That's easy---it's the type of people who live there. Now, this makes sense. When we think of other cities like NYC or Los Angeles, the same goes; the overall personality of the city is governed by the characteristics of its residents. So, what makes Boston any different?

Take a moment and envision a typical Bostonian. Common traits that come to mind may be prideful, tough, loud, and honest. Now conjure up an idea of what it means to be a New Yorker---cold, sophisticated, successful, and cultured. We can play this little game for lots of other cities, too. When thinking of LA we might picture exercise-loving, glamorous, carefree people. Our vision of Portlandians can be summed up in one word: hipsters.

New York City is associated with success and those who have attained this status all share the same traits. They are sophisticated (i.e. they wear all black). They are cold, brusque, and like to complain about tourists and the state of New Jersey. They develop the ability to navigate the subway without looking up from their smartphones, and even when seats are available on the train they prefer to stand. Because they can. However, what NYC and several other cities have in common is that the people who first move there oftentimes do not already possess the stereotypical characteristics of its native inhabitants. Rather, they crave attaining the type of personality that the city is known for. People move to NYC or LA, for example, and are immediately invested in dressing a certain way, speaking a certain way, commuting a certain way, all so that they can appear a native. Without meaning to, they quickly become superficial. They care deeply about how they appear to others, and take it as the deepest of compliments when they're mistaken for a long-time city local. And in doing so, some of the largest cities in the U.S., which are supposed to be a melting pot of diversity, have become so homogeneous in the personality of their citizens that diversity no longer exists.

Don't get me wrong. The purpose of this article is not to slander other cities or those who choose to live in them. Although it's true that many people change themselves to fit into the ideals of whichever city they've moved to, I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. You only live one life, so if the opportunity arises to become the kind of person you've always wanted to be, then by all means, take advantage of that. However, having grown up in the Boston area, surrounded by people who couldn't care less about what others think of them, I've learned to love the personality I was born with.

Boston is, in my opinion, one of the few large cities in the U.S. where diversity truly exists. The city rarely boasts about how it's a melting pot of diversity, or about how "they are so many differing opinions and that's what makes it so great!". No. Boston leaves it alone, practices cultural laissez-faire, if you will. People don't move to Boston with the hopes of embodying all of the characteristics of a typical Bostonian. They don't dream of developing a Boston accent, or becoming an aggressive driver. The gruffness, toughness, and brutal honesty are simply traits that the majority of Boston residents possess, but they aren't that way because they wanted to be. Due to the harsh winters, the city's influential history, and the greatest sports teams in the country, those living in Boston develop a hardness, a pride, and an openness to welcome in fellow and new Bostonians. But it's important to note that those who don't quite fit into this stereotype are just as well-liked and respected as those who do. There's no desire to fit in, seeing as the majority of people couldn't care less about appearances; they are who they are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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