My ears don’t have magic flying powers

February 1, 2017 — by Sophia Zivanic

In second grade, I remember wearing my hair up in a ponytail or in neatly woven braids almost every day. Then, after one fateful day, all of those cute little hairstyles never made an appearance again because someone told me I should hide my ears.

When I was younger, several people, including my friends, grew fascinated with my ears and loved to joke that I resembled the fictional Disney elephant Dumbo, whose ears were made comically large enough for him to fly.

They also called me various other names such as “elephant,” “monkey” and “mouse.” There were probably more names, but I have since wiped them out of my memory.

Even a rude substitute teacher in middle school had the nerve to call me “elf” for the three days he taught our class. He said the name suited my appearance.

As a kid, I cared too much about what those little brats thought of me, so after that day in second grade, I just decided to never wear my hair up again.

I recall how it got worse as I grew older. At one point, I even tried to tape my ears back for 24 hours, thinking that would make them stay back forever. It obviously did not work. Still, I reached the point where I couldn’t wear my hair up in public because I thought that the strangers of the grocery store would look at me like I was a monster.

I did all of this just because of a few callous words some kids used to make fun of me. Now, looking back, it’s kind of funny how worked up I got over it, but this is not a story about how I should be pitied for being bullied. I’m writing this because I want everyone to know that I do not care at all about what anyone thinks of my physical appearance.

All of the name-calling made me stronger in a way. It wasn’t until the end of middle school when I truly let go and just decided to stop worrying about what everyone thinks.

Now I’m completely happy with my ears and everything about myself. People still point out my ears occasionally and I typically reply with a sarcastic comment like “Congratulations! You aren’t blind.”

I truly hope that everyone learns to accept their so-called flaws and just enjoy their life. I accepted mine and I’ve been happier ever since.