Popular, yet controversial statement: normalcy is overrated.

By all means, stay sane. This is not an invitation to become psychotic. I am talking about your personality – what makes you you. Everything about you is special. Imagine if we were all the same: same hairstyle, same fashion taste, same laugh, same personality, same preferences. How boring would that world be? There would be nothing interesting about life. Because we are different, we are special.

Close your eyes and pretend you are walking in a field of flowers. All around you, as far as the eye can see, are white carnations. Everywhere you look, every plant you touch is a white carnation, and then you spot it. Your eye catches something different, something special, something awesome. A red tulip. Just one red tulip in the miles of white, like a red scarf in the snow. See how beautiful it is. See how different it is.

You are that red tulip. You are a diamond in the rough, a pearl among sand, the rose among thorns. You are that special beauty that catches the eye of the passerby.

But your beauty does not diminish the allure of everyone else. The red tulip does not take away from the grace of the white carnations. Each of the flowers is beautiful, whether in a bouquet together or standing alone in the grass. Though a red tulip is unique in a field of white carnations, the carnations are also unique unto themselves. And that uniqueness also makes them beautiful.

Difference does not make you ugly, and normalcy does not guarantee beauty.

You are the white carnation. You are also the red tulip. Have some spots or freckles or birthmarks? So does catmint. A bit big? So is amaryllis. Dainty and thin, often feel breakable? So is the African violet. Missing a couple of parts? Even flowers lose their petals.

You are special, and you are so beautiful. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

Of course you are going to stick out. That's how people notice you. You are a star in the inky void of the night sky. Don't extinguish your light just so you can blend in. If a star turned down her brightness, who would light the way? Don't tone down who you are just because someone dislikes you.

You can conform to societal standards and still look like a Barbie in her box, up on a shelf waiting to be bought, the same as thousands of other dolls. You can conform to societal standards of beauty and still be yourself. It's all about who you are, what makes you comfortable, and staying true to yourself. Don't listen to Ariel. Don't change yourself for a man or to be accepted. Now, if you want to have plastic surgery solely because you want it, by all means, go ahead. But don't feel like you should be pressured into fitting a mold you weren't made for.

Of course you're not perfect. None of us are, and that is the beauty of humanity.

Be brave. Be bold. Be beautiful. But most of all, be yourself. And remember:

Smile.

Breathe.

They are going to love you.