I’ve been labeled many things in my life, we all have. In fact, we all have been guilty of labeling others at some point as well. Some of the labels given to me I have not minded at all, others I have absolutely despised and wanted to throw off me. There’s always going to be labels attached to me that I can’t completely get rid of because some things are just obvious…..the problem is I, like most people, would like to be more than just a label.
If you pick up an item at the store, you will usually find a label describing it. Sometimes I feel like people automatically look at me and affix an invisible label to me. But why? I’m not an object in a store….I am a human being. How can you possibly look at me and label me that quickly?
You may say you could stamp me as a Caucasian…well, sure, you would be right. If I was any whiter, I would be Snow White’s long lost sister, but the label “Caucasian” doesn’t describe my heritage and the many possible blood lines I may come from. You could say I’m a “big” girl and that would also be true…but that’s another surface characteristic. There’s more than just THAT to me. In order to label me past the external features I have, you would have to talk to me for a period of time and learn more about me. Even then, the label you give me still wouldn’t be 100% accurate. Can you ever really fully KNOW a person completely inside and out if you’re NOT that person?
I’ve heard people comment more than once in my life regarding another person, “I would have never imagined THAT person would do something like that” or “That person really shocked me”. Sometimes this is said of a person they have known for many years or their whole life. So how do you expect to label me or anyone else if you only know a little about them?
And labels are just as bad as generalizations or stereotypes. Society has conceived stereotypes for every label given to you. These stereotypes are just as wrong as the labels put on. All it takes is a few people of one “label” to fit a preconceived “stereotype” and then suddenly, it seems to become law. Why is this?
Anytime I see an article saying that ” ALL people of this type are this way or do this”….I get frustrated. Has the author of this article questioned EVERY person that holds that label? There’s no way they could have. I will admit that some stereotypes out there seem to fit a huge majority BUT that still doesn’t mean it fits ALL. While ALL men are created equal, we ALL are not equal in thoughts, feelings, opinions, and beliefs. Every person that has ever been labeled something are unique in their own way and shouldn’t be stamped with a majority held stereotype. We are not objects on an assembly line created completely the same and produced to look and act the same. And if we’re different, that doesn’t mean we are defective like objects that turn out apart from the rest. It simply means we live in a world where we may be labeled many things but we have our own wills and minds that we can use to think and separate ourselves. Not everyone has the mob mentality where we have to take on the popular agenda of what our labels appear to be.