Education Politics Letter: I want BARE By Letters to the Editor Posted on April 4, 2015 4 min read 1 0 602 Not just for Student Senate. I want them everywhere. All the time. And the fact that they are comfortable with happy, honest, casual representations of their bodies is part of the bigger reason why. We live in a society where individuals feel the need to be conscious of how they are presenting themselves pretty much all the time. We claim to have ‘individualistic’ values and the freedom to do whatever we want, yet more often than not our behaviors are influenced by what we think others think of us. We feel compelled to go along with what people in authority have presented as “normal” behavior, and if we choose not to, we may be judged “unprofessional,” “arrogant,” “crazy,” or ultimately “unworthy of respect”. We spend so much time worrying about how we present ourselves and how others present themselves that we completely neglect our own intuitions and tend to undervalue our capacity for empathy towards others. We have been individualized in a bad way – not in a way that tells us “You can be yourself,” but in a way that says…“You are all alone.” I’ve been sick of this society since I was a toddler, and that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve always wanted to be somewhere where people model their behavior on their own desires – and on things like kindness, curiosity and empathy – rather than on older people with fat wallets and fancy clothes. I’ve always wanted to be around people who can look beyond the capitalistic influences urging us to scramble selfishly for our own money, beyond the authority figures who convince us we can redeem our selfish actions by convincing others that we are important. The people on the BARE ticket are people who look beyond. They don’t just care about getting what’s best for them in the short term while attempting to present themselves “correctly” in every situation. They care about loving each other and working against any forces that try to devalue us or distract us from the truth. They are passionate, compassionate, and unapologetically open about themselves. And they don’t just want what’s best for the students of OU, they want what’s best for our world. They’ll continue to put themselves out there, however they please, no matter what. And those are the people I want – both here and now, and in the rest of my life. Rachel Baker is a freshman in the Honors Tutorial College studying social work and a member of F*ckRapeCulture.