At 15, my daughter is doing something I couldn’t do at her age.

She is un-apologetically committed to being herself and it’s outright dangerous, in a world, that at every turn, demands she be like everybody else.  

Her battle for originality has been hard fought, as she's had to deal with her share of tormentors who were so uncomfortable in their own skin that they couldn't rest until they saw her uncomfortable in hers. But as Tamar Braxton says, "She Won". 

Case in point, a few days ago she had a dress down day at school. Since her high school has a strict uniform policy, she cherishes the days she can do her own thing, wear her own clothes, and express her own style – and I do, too.

Her choice for this most recent dress down day was to pay homage to Michael Jackson. 

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Just so you understand, my daughter LOVES Michael Jackson.  She’s been fixated on him, his music and his legacy since his untimely death in June 2009. It was then that she fully discovered his music, his talent, and his wish that humanity live in peace.  

His message really resonated with her and I know his music got her through some pretty tough times.

Now, Michael Jackson is not without his controversy, but for her, he symbolizes having the courage to be unique, and different, in a society that requires everybody to be the same.

Kids at school have tried to shame her into dressing like them and following certain trends, but she stands her ground and firmly says, “I’d rather do my own thing.”

Her commitment to embracing herself as a unique being who sees the world very differently than a lot of her peers does not come without repudiation.  As I said earlier, bold statements of originality attract the ire and criticism of others, because nothing makes an insecure person more afraid of their own skin, than seeing someone else comfortable in theirs.

For this reason, I consider my daughter a fully loaded weapon of independent thinking and expression and I know she'll leave an indelible mark on the world.

In Michael's words, she is Dangerous.

 What are some ways you encourage your kids to stand out from the crowd? 

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