For those who aren’t familiar with Annie Hawkins, a.k.a. “Norma Stitz”, she holds the Guinness World Record for the largest natural breasts in the world (102ZZZ).  She has a rare condition called gigantomastia, which basically means that her breasts didn’t stop growing when they were supposed to.  Hawkins “never considered having breast reduction,” adding “why fix something that’s not broken?”  As I was watching Strange Attractions on TLC last night, I realized something: it must be lonely having the largest breasts in the world.     Imagine not being able to complain to your friends about the lack of plus size bras, because they can’t relate.  Imagine having to pay $175 for a bra, instead of $20. Annie is one of a kind, as we all are.  Most of the time, being yourself is difficult, because you’re the only one doing it and there’s no trail blazer who has been you before, in whose footsteps you can follow.  You can’t trade tips with your girlfriends on being you, because they’re busy being whoever they are.  They don’t have the time or capacity to help you with being you.  It’s a long and lonely road, and one you have to walk all by yourself.

Being you also comes with accepting parts of yourself that you don’t like so much.  Maybe you’re not as interesting as you would like.  Maybe you’re introverted and have a hard time letting people get close to you.  These are things you probably wish you could change, but can’t, because they are so ingrained in your personality that they’ve permanently become a “you component”.  Although it’s hard, accepting these qualities is the first step in the direction of being happy while being you.

As a kind of closing, I wanted to mention that in our society, being you is discouraged.  There are so many people out there that you want to be like, but can’t, because you simple are not them.  You can’t be/become something you aren’t.  But take heart, because being one of a kind is also a good thing.  It means that nobody thinks exactly the way you do.  It means you are original and gives you ownership of your thoughts and ideas.  It makes your every action a historic event, because nobody is ever going to do that the way you did.  I give props to Annie Hawkins for accepting herself the way she is (and then turning it into a money machine), and being open about her struggles and triumphs.  So try to be yourself today, and see what happens.  Chances are, people will notice you way more than they would if you were imitating beauty queen over here or ripped surf dude over there.

And now, I shall bombard you with cheesy “be yourself” quotes…