I came late to the Harry Potter party, but I am so happy that I eventually made it. Today I picked up the last book in the series, and I must admit that I'm slightly worried about how everything will tie together. These books have brought me to places in my mind that I didn't even know existed, and have helped me understand things about myself I hadn't yet been aware of. But aside from those things, these books have helped me come to terms with the parts of myself I had never liked very much. Luna Lovegood is sometimes looked on as the outcast, the weirdo, and the one who doesn't really understand the "real world." I was always this person, and it wasn't until a couple years ago that that kind of went away- but I still find myself identifying with her very much. I wrote a poem a few months ago called "Dear All the Luna Lovegoods", which has been posted, and in it, I mention the many ways being considered a Luna is a good thing. Right now, I'm going to talk about some of the reasons people didn't like her, and why those are still amazing things.
1. She was "too imaginative"
Well, uh, when did having an imagination become a bad thing? Luna believed in the impossible, and, although sometimes lacking proof, stood by those beliefs. She also used her imagination as a means to be supportive to those she loved. Remember the lion hat? Yeah, who else supported a house they didn't belong to? Also, I find it especially interesting that Harry and Hermione didn't like her that much at first because of her quirks considering they hadn't been a part of the wizard world for that long, and who were they to know what existed and what didn't? Imagination is a beautiful thing, and believing in the impossible isn't all bad either. Luna seemed to be the only one at Hogwarts who was okay with being a little quirky and imaginative.
2. She was "always around"
Yeah, but she also fought the same battles as the others, and saved people. Luna was a comfort when that was needed, and could cheer everyone up easily. She made people happy, whether they wanted to feel happy or not, but she also knew when to be serious and to genuinely listen to people who really needed to talk.
3. She wasn't "as important" as the rest
To play devil's advocate for this one, I didn't know Luna existed until my school had a spirit day where groups dressed up as characters from books/movies/tv/etc., and I was told that I reminded someone of Luna Lovegood and should be part of the Harry Potter group. I had to do my research on the character, and immediately fell in love with her, which is probably what makes this last point so frustrating. Sure, Luna didn't appear until Order of the Phoenix, but she makes up for the lack of time with her amazing characteristics. She fights in the big battles against the Death Eaters just like the rest of them, and is part of Ravenclaw, which we all know is really the best house (it's possible I was sorted into Ravenclaw and am unapologetically biased).
Put simply, Luna Lovegood was the best. She was kind, funny, imaginative, and just as important as the rest. If I could tell my eight-year-old self anything, it would be "be more like Luna." You may not be appreciated quite yet, but one day you'll find that the quirks you have will be the things you come to like most about yourself. So, to all the Luna Lovegoods, keep being quirky. Be as weird as you can, and always be kind. Not everyone will like you, but that's okay, because you like you, and that's all that should matter.