I recently discovered and fell in love with this ABC family show called “Switched at Birth”. It’s about two 16 year-old girls who recently discovered that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay, the dark haired girl, now lives with her rich family in a mansion with tennis courts and swimming pools, and Daphne, the blonde girl, lives with her single mother struggling for a living as a hair dresser.
The twist of the story is when Daphne was 3, she caught meningitis and became deaf.
And so the drama begins.
I love this kind of story line because it’s part of human nature to wonder what could have been and what might have been. Someone once said that to know yourself, you have to know your past; if you don’t have a past, you won’t have a future. So with cases like these, how does Bay and Daphne figure out who they truly are, or have they become a totally different person because of their upbringing?
The show seems to feel that genes triumph the influence of upbringing and the environment around you. Bay loves music and folk art, even though her family has no idea of what she’s doing or understands what it means. However, she was very fortunate because her family loves and supports her, and lets her grow her talents and potentials without constraints.
Daphne, on the other hand, educates audiences about the life and dreams of a deaf person, and touches on the sensitive subject of cochlear implants. During school, I read many articles on the cochlear implants’ effect on a deaf person’s life, making them neither hearing or deaf, stuck in the middle and unable to fit into any world. Hence Daphne’s mom Regina refuses to give her the implant, saying she’s happy and comfortable being deaf, going to a deaf school and having deaf friends. I really like Regina, and her saying that Daphne should not change who she is to just to fit into the hearing world, but rather, have everyone, especially her biological family, see who she truly is and love her for it. Being deaf is not a disease, and it doesn’t need to be cured.
These themes apply to everyone, even if you are not deaf or didn’t get switched. We should never force ourselves to change just so that other people will like us, or we will fit into a group or a type of society. We should be proud of who we are, and let our true self shine out. Not everyone may like you, but you have to love yourself, and like who you are. It’s so easy to conform to pressure and the social norm, but we are all different, and it’s the diversity that makes our world a better place.
p.s, I had new born pneumonia, and the doctors told my parents that I have a high possibility of becoming deaf due to the antibiotics that was given to me, so I could have been in Daphne’s shoes! I really appreciate everything that I have today, and would like to give an extra thank you and love to my parents who believed in me.