How it Feels to Be Me, the Skirt Girl
As I walk the halls of Lockport High School, I see many different faces, each representing a unique personality inside. I am one of those students. I hold a story no one can see on the outside. I am the child who was raised in a fatherless home. I didn’t have a daddy to tuck me into bed at night or to take me for ice cream instead of a nap. At the age of eight, I rebelled against my mother and was rude and snobby. But looking at me from the outside, neither student nor any teacher could tell I was ever like that.
As people look from the outside now they just see a people pleaser and overachiever, but I am neither of those things. My success in life does not come from academics or from a stable family—it comes from a much higher source.
I walk the halls of Lockport and heads turn in my direction, not because I am homecoming queen or most popular, but because I am “the skirt girl.” I have been changed from the inside out. Every day I wake up and clothe myself in modest apparel. I wear a skirt because it is simply who I am. I’m not being forced to and I’m not trying to be better than anyone else. I wear a skirt because I want to be the girl God has called me to be. I feel a calling on my life from Jesus to be separate from this world. I know people think I’m weird for not fitting into the mold, and even rebelling against the mold, that the world has created for me, but this is my choice to honor God.
Society values people’s outside appearance but does not look beyond to see the identity, personalities, and even struggles on the inside. I walk next to a kid who is quiet and doesn’t like to speak because he has been told to be quiet all of his life. I sit next to a girl who feels ashamed because all she wanted was to be loved the day she gave her virginity away to a boy who never really cared about her. Some people see a girl who flaunts herself and label her; others see a boy with dark and gloomy clothes and label him. They don’t care about their life stories or who those people really are.
I want to be someone different—someone who can recognize the inner struggles of those people and make a difference in their lives. I might be the skirt girl, but I remember how it felt to be the girl searching for love. I haven’t given my virginity away, but I know how it feels to wear low cut tops so I could get attention from a boy because I never had the love of a man in my life. I know how it feels to be the kid who sat in the back of the class and would not talk to anyone because they were bound under the chains of depression. I want to be a friend to those who are told they’re nobodies. I want to be a helping hand to those in need. I want to show people there is a purpose to life and they don’t have to live a depressed life or be bound by the chains of addictions. I know this because I was set free from those things on July 12, 2009.
On January 13, 2009, I walked into a church and I felt something different. There was something warm in the atmosphere. I could feel this warm tingling feeling around me. I was so happy. I felt like weights had been lifted off my shoulders. That day was only the beginning of my journey. I continued to go to that church and learn about Jesus and how He died on a cross for my sins. I began to feel the love I had once longed for. On July 12, 2009, I was submerged under water in Jesus’ name and came up out of the water rejoicing because I felt every sin and mistake pass away. I felt deliverance run through my veins. I realized I didn’t need the love of a boy in my life, and Jesus didn’t want me to show off my curves for everyone to see. I realized cosmetics like makeup and hair dye were not going to make me pretty because they were not the person God made me. I realized that looking like everyone else was a chain holding me back from enjoying who God created me to be. God made me who I am for a reason, and in that moment I accepted my identity in Him.
People tell me all the time that wearing skirts is stupid and that Jesus is fake. I simply say to myself that is their opinion. I know what I have experienced, and it doesn’t matter what everyone else says.
Being the skirt girl might not be such a bad reputation after all because I am glad to be different. If people walk around with gauges in their ears and tattoos all over their bodies, and they’re not ashamed to look the way they do, then I refuse to feel ashamed because I wear a skirt. I choose to look like the young lady God has called me to be!
Jacklyn Claffy is a student at Lockport High School near Chicago. She attends First Apostolic Church. Johnathan Nazarian is her student pastor and Perry Walker is her pastor.