Wasn’t Glee “Born This Way” Brilliant? What Would YOUR Shirt Say?

by Susan

Have you seen Glee’s latest episode “Born This Way”?

Janice and I have loved the TV show Glee since the start, although we have felt this season has been weak. But our faith in the show’s clever writers has been restored. “Born This Way” nailed it!

You can watch full episodes of Glee on Fox and if you’re in Canada on Global TV.

In “Born This Way” the Glee Club learns about self-acceptance through Lady Gaga’ music. They hit on issues of plastic surgery, sexual orientation, mental illness and bullying.

(And my favorite character Kurt gets lots of screen time.)

In the show, they all create custom t-shirts with words on the front that call out something they are insecure about.

Glee Born This Way Shirts

Rachel’s says “Nose”, Finn’s says “Can’t Dance”, Kurt’s says “Likes Boys”.

What would YOUR shirt say?

Mine would say “Small Eyes”.

SusanI’ve always hated my eyes. They are too small, set too close together, have hardly any eyelashes, they’re “sleepy” (my eyelids don’t open all the way and stay at half-mast all the time), they’ve got permanent dark, puffy circles under them, and to top it off, they can’t focus properly. I’ve had to wear glasses since I was 3 years old.

As a kid, I hated wearing glasses… way back in the day (I was born in ’73) you didn’t get all the cute options in eyewear that are available today. Janice and I were forced to wear ugly brown glasses. We’d constantly “forget” them in our desks at school until our eyesight became so poor that we couldn’t take our glasses off at all.

When we were 11 years old, we finally got contact lenses. But do you know what? When I put those contact lenses in and really saw my eyes for the first time, I felt like crying. I hadn’t realized how small they were before. I hadn’t realized how few eyelashes I had and that my facial structure didn’t match my identical twin sister’s.

Thank goodness I had just turned 11. Why? Because I could start wearing MAKE-UP!!!

Bring on the eyeliner and mascara!

But to this day, if I could change one feature, I wouldn’t hesitate to beg for big, beautiful blue eyes with thick lashes.

Fortunately, I didn’t let my frustration with my appearance seriously affect my self worth as a teenager. I was lucky… I added a little bit of makeup and moved on with my life.

But Are The Kids Alright?

Not all teenagers find the happy ending of self-acceptance that the Glee kids sang about.

With the road to cosmetic surgery paved so smoothly these days, I can’t imagine how kids are supposed to accept themselves the way they are. (I think we as aging women may even be setting the worst example as we do everything we can to stop looking our age.)

I admit that if I could easily and without risk change the way my eyes look, I might be a little tempted. And I certainly do NOT want to judge anyone that has had cosmetic surgery.

But I’m worried… are we loving ourselves and teaching our children to love themselves?

I think this Glee episode hit the issue hard and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What would YOUR shirt would say?

Leave a comment and wear yours proudly…


Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of the Mom Blog 5 Minutes for Mom.
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.


Photo Credit: Elon_n on Flickr photo shows credit listed as usapotterfan.tumblr.com

And the photo of me? That was taken by Janice and I presume she did a little Photoshop work clearing away some of the bags under my eyes.

Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessie Rosenblum April 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

I would say BIG FOREHEAD! I used to refer to my forehead at “The Great Plains”. I have always had to have bangs and have been envious of those who can wear their hair with or without.


2 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I had bangs until I was in my twenties and I finally said, forget it! I can do this life without bangs! I bet you could too. :)


3 grace April 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

i would have “tiny eyes” printed on my shirt. i have the smallest chinese eyes and i’m not even pure chinese! but people say that’s my trademark, especially when it gets tinier when i smile!

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4 Angel April 27, 2011 at 7:38 am

Oh I have a long list. I have my mom’s belly which I loathed on her when I was younger, it just kind of hangs over.. I loathe how big my boobs are. I realize many women think having big boobs is the answer and they couldn’t be more incorrect. They are hard on the back and if , like me, they don’t go anywhere when you lose weight , can make you look off kilter .


5 Jason April 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

My friend had a reduction surgery to get her triple D’s smaller to be easier on her back, she feels so much better with her C’s


6 Catherine April 27, 2011 at 8:52 am

Mine would say, “NOSE, FLAT ASS, GAP TEETH.”


7 Marianna April 27, 2011 at 9:13 am

Mine would say “nose” like Rachel. I so related to her last night because I have felt insecure about my nose since I was a kid. If I could have gotten a nose job I would have.


8 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

My boyfriend when I was a teenager called me big nose. Nice eh?

HUGS to you!!!!


9 Lindsey April 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

Mine would say insignificant.


10 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm



11 Sarah April 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

Mine would say “Short with Big Thighs” but I’ve learned to love both!


12 Jamie H April 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

Big hips! I’ve always hated my overly curvy hips and having kids didn’t help them at all!!


13 Simply Billie April 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

Mine would definitely say “Freckles.” I remember trying to erase them with lemon juice when I was younger. I’m learning to accept them, though, and realize they make me who I am!


14 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

My 3yr old is getting her first freckles. She takes after her dad, so I think she will have tons!


15 S Club Mama April 27, 2011 at 10:27 am

Let’s see. My shirt would say…big thighs. They’re just not going anywhere! :D


16 Jacki April 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

Like Rachel, mine would say NOSE. I also have small close-set eyes, but if my nose was a bit smaller, they wouldn’t look so darn small. But I can’t imagine ever getting a nose job. Who knows how bad it could look if the job got botched.


17 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I too hate my nose — but I don’t think I would go through with a nose job either. But, if I had to be on TV every day or something, and see it all the time, maybe I would give in and do it. Ya never know. I feel for people in the public eye – that is a lot of scrutiny!


18 Heather Mackey April 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

mine would say “funny teeth” braces helped a little, but as a saxaphone player, I undid a lot of the work


19 Debbie April 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

Mine would say Nose ’cause I’ve always thought my nose is too big for my face.


20 Lindy April 27, 2011 at 10:47 am

Mine t shirt would say “BOOBS”. Im 16 wearing DD and the big boobs run in my family. My aunt is an H so everyine is expecting mine to get bigger. All the girls in high school are trying to make their boobs look bigger with push-up bras and in doing everything i can to make mine look smalller. They dont realised that big boobs suck.


21 Shari April 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

Mine would say nose. I related to Rachel last night also. When I was 17, my parents gave the choice of getting braces to correct my gap teeth or a nose job. I chose braces and have always been happy with that choice.
Mine might also read underneath, square hips. Even in my fittest condition, my hips just look… square. It’s most annoying.


22 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I hate my nose too! I often wish I could have a nose job — but if someone really handed me the option, I don’t know if I would even do it.
I did have braces tho — and I am VERY grateful for that!!!


23 Stephanie April 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

I loved that episode last night! And I really like the way they sang the song, they sang it way better than lady gaga does.

My shirt would say Wrinkles. I hate the way my eyes crinkle up like an old ladies when I smile, and i have very deep laugh lines.


24 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That means you laugh a lot! :) Which is a VERY good thing! :) HUGS!


25 Michelle April 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Mine would say “Saddlebags”. Ugg! The bane of my existence!


26 Patricia G April 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Mine would say ” I beat Anorexia”


27 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Way to go girl!!! :)


28 Kathi Lake April 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Oh my! I don’t think there’s a shirt big enough!! :)

Tiny eyes – like you, I don’t have those beautiful big eyes. I don’t have the wonderful canvases for eyeshadow masterpieces I see on other girls. Even if I open my eyes wide, you can only see a small slit.

Hips – Just ain’t there! Sure, I can fit into a 00, but it’s due to a complete lack of hips or butt, so where’s the joy in that?

Nose – yeesh, what a schnozz! I can smell fresh-baked bread from three counties away with this thing.

Height – I’m a little over 5’10″, and would love to wear those pretty little heels that make my heart race, but I already tower over nearly every other woman – and most of the guys.

Still, you know what? I love me. Sure, there are things that I might want to change sometimes, but I have great kids, a wonderful family life, a church that is awesome, and a pretty good life overall.


29 Janice April 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Amen! So important to focus on the good stuff! Yes – I need a whole closet for all my “shirts” but when it comes down to it, it is ALL good! :)


30 Kathi Lake April 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Thank you Janice – so true! It IS all good. Even when it’s not all good, it’s all good. This attitude has carried me throughout a *very* odd life filled with many ‘interesting’ and ‘wonderful’ things. :)


31 Lolli April 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I like who I am. I really do. But my t-shirt would probably say Bumpy Nose. I hate my profile. My nose isn’t huge, but there’s a big bump on the top. I would totally get a nose job if I could afford it.


32 Elizabeth April 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I liked how not all of the shirts were about a physical attribute, like Lauren’s said “Bad Attitude” and Brittany’s said “I’m with Stoopid”. Mine would say “INSECURE”.


33 kenyon April 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm

i loved that episdoe. i especially loved kurts shirt. minewoul say likes boys also. i have been gay since i was 11 and i am aoutto turn 16. not everyone that i have told agrees with he fact that i am gay and i also havent told evryone that i know. i had an idea. i was thinkingof doing the same thing glee did fo the talent show at my church. i wasalso thinking of my shit saying likes boys so i could comeout to everyone i know. email me @ kbdraws@yahoo.com and give me some advice on whether or not i shoul do this an if i should give m soem tips on hows i should do this. thanx so much for yur help and advice.


34 Kathi Lake April 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Oh, honey! No.

Coming out in a confrontative way like that at church may not be the best idea. You’re young, and chances are these people have known you since before you were born. They love you, and want the best for you. If you’re going to come out at such a young age, understand that some people will be there for you, some people will think you’re not old enough to know any better, and some people will shun you. Come out to your parents and friends (youth group) first and let them smooth the way for you. They can give you the support you need. Take care!


35 Shay April 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Mine would say ‘Lesbian’. Or Lebanese – lol. Although I’ve come to terms with it now so it’s not something that I’m ashamed of anymore.


36 Kathi Lake April 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Yeah, being Lebanese *does* carry around quite a social stigma these days! :)


37 Amber Strocel April 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm

It’s harder for me to come up with something to put on my (imaginary) shirt than I expected it would be. Which is maybe a sign that I don’t accept my flaws that well. Perhaps I need to take a lesson from this episode.

I think maybe the best fit would be “Know It All”. But, man, it’s hard for me to write that.


38 Paige April 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

My shirt would have to say….Organizationally Dysfunctional…and baby I was really born this way…. Talented and Gifted in many ways but like many kiddos, I struggle with organization.
Another…Easily Distractable…


39 Jessie October 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I would have to agree with you, I try to be organized and I might like to horde things also.


40 Barbara Manatee April 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Mine would say “big nose” or maybe “double chin”? Lately its the “extra 20 lbs”

While I rarely feel 100% happy with my body/self, I accept myself MUCH better than I did when I was younger. I was a pretty awkward kid – too tall (I’m now 6’1″), wore glasses, had braces and used to be too skinny (wish I had that problem now, ha!). I always noticed how tall I was when I was younger but as an adult, I rarely do (unless I’m trying to find pants that are long enough!). I honestly sometimes forget how much shorter some of my friends are compared to me until we’re actually standing side-by-side and I realize I can rest my arm on their head…haha!!

April is Autism Awareness Month. I’m dedicating my blog all month to Autism.


41 Jason April 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

Mine would either be like Kurt’s or it would say Geek


42 Amy April 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Mine would say OCD like the Glee guidance counselor! Mine is NO where near that bad though! :0)


43 CG April 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

If I were to dwell on the physical aspect, my shirt would probably say “FRIZZ.” I’ve struggled with my frizzy hair my whole life, and I’m never satisfied.

If I were to be honest with myself, though, my shirt would say something like “EMOTIONAL WRECK,” “PANIC ATTACKS,” or “BIPOLAR.”

Yeah… that episode was a rough mirror to look in, but a good lesson.


44 DJ April 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

bi sexual
makes 2 many mistakes


45 Lisa April 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Mine would either say “Likes girls”, Bubble butt”, or I’d take Rachel’s shirt just saying “nose” , three completely different insecurities, but ones I’m finally starting to come to terms with and feel proud about.
Actually according to my friends, lesbians and big butts are becoming more popular and socially accepted ;) And us girls with jew noses will always have Barbra Streisand :D


46 Caldia April 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Mine would probably be ‘thunder thighs’. I have strong thighs and I’ve hated them since I can remember! I would always work out to try and get them smaller but nothing ever worked!!! Now, I’m on the road to accepting them and realizing that…well…I WAS BORN THIS WAY! And if you don’t like it, then that’s your problem.


47 Sophie B-W April 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

My shirt would say “Lesbian” on it seeing as I have just recently accepted that that’s what I am.
It took me a lot of thinking to realise that I have never thought about guys in the way everyone else does, but instead I’ve thought about girls like that. I tried to date a guy and it just didn’t work. I had no romantic feelings for him. I have a crush on an unobtainable girl at school who is my friend, but has no idea. I have told my closest friends, all who are OK with it but I think they assume it’s a phase.
I won’t be able to tell everyone at school because the girls would find it awkard getting changed for P.E. and the teasing would be endless. I guess someday I’ll be able to tell people, just not yet.



48 Sophie B-W April 30, 2011 at 10:08 am

I’m sorry I’m posting again but I’d please like your opinion on whether or not I should come out. I have some friends who I’m less to close to who don’t know, but I still hate keeping secrets and hiding who I am. If you could reply to this or email me at madasmonty@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks so much.



49 Friday April 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm

“Socially Awkward” – I happen to go mute around people regardless of who they are.
“Pansexual” – I don’t care about people’s gender or gender identification.
“Long Legs” – I’m about 6’0″ and tower over everyone I know.

I’m hoping to actually get these three shirts done one day, Glee has really inspired me. c:


50 megan May 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm

mine would say
“beat depression”
or “crazy” because i get harassed cause i used to be emo but im better now


51 Julia May 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Mine would say Acne. It makes me feel so insecure and I have no idea what to do about it. It won’t go away.


52 Hannah May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm

“shape” because I’ve always been a little overweight. But my shirt would probably be like Tina’s shirt and it would say “brown eyes.” I have round, dark brown eyes, and I’ve always wanted bright green eyes.


53 Scarlett Temperance May 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Mine would say obsessive compulsive. I dislike my OCD, but I live with it. I make no effort to change it because I’m unhappy any other way.


54 Cat May 16, 2011 at 4:37 am

Mine would say “bitch”.


55 Gypsy May 16, 2011 at 4:42 am

Mine would say “snob” or “stuck up” or “slut” or “whore” or “liar”… the list goes on.


56 Ilse May 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

mine would say: ‘afraid (of water)’
I know it might sound silly but iv’e always been afraid of trying things out. Ever since i was little, and it really irratates me each and every time. And to add that list up, i’m also afraid of water, not water in particulairy, but i’m deathly terrified to get my head under water, that’s the same for me as throwing myself off a cliff. This is the reason why I don’t dare to swim a lot, I’m just getting freaked out when i can’t feel the bottom under my feet anymore.


57 Silvija May 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

mine would say ” 6’1 and fat” becouse i was borne this way ! anyon eknow where i could get a costum made thisrt ?


58 shyaluna May 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Mine would be >> I’m Fat, So What !!
:) some people get prob with that… they say im lying bout my picture… don blame me if my face not equally like my body…


59 hello June 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Mine would say “Can’t Dance” or “Big Boobs”. I hate my boobs. I’ve been double D since I was 13. I’m bigger now. They suck.


60 Brittany June 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Mine would either say “Bisexual” or “likes boys and girls”. I recently discovered this about myself and realized that i’m a 24 year old girl and I love guys and girls. Wearing this shirt would probably be the best way for me to come out. And i actually love this about myself. I really am born this way!!!!


61 Sandi August 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Mine would say “GAPS” because I have so many gaps in my teeth, or it would say “ASS” because I have always had the most bodacious buttocks in my classes at school and I had difficulty dealing with those 2 things… But now its just like “Hey, its all me!”


62 Jasmine August 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Mine would say Scratcher (I scratch myself with my ipod charger), fat, anger, hurt, or insecure.


63 Jordan October 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Little late, but whatever. Mine would say ‘Superhero Nerd’ I’m 16 and a girl and I love comic books and superhero movies


64 Mimi January 3, 2013 at 1:05 am

Mine would say NOT THE BOMB because im middle eastern and everyone thinks im a terrorist. I think that explains itself.


65 Girl lover May 8, 2013 at 12:20 am

My shirt would say LIKES GIRLS. But like they say you we’re BORN THOS WAY. My favorite person on GLEE is KURT


66 Lizzy Mello September 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Mine would say “paranoid.”

I don’t know, I have serious irrational fears (ie. big leaves)


67 Jessie October 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Chubby would be on my shirt. I have been over weight over twelve years. I have been fighting with my weight, and I will not let it beat me.


68 Lucy May 18, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Mine would either say bisexual or podophobe. So yeah, feet really freak me out and I avoid people at all costs if their feet are bare.


69 Nic June 26, 2014 at 2:50 am

Mine would be LIKES BOYS like Kurt’s.
I LOVED this performance, my favorite of Glee in general, I loved all the t-shirts but especially I loved Santana at the end, so emotional!


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