I am sick of labels.
As teenagers, as society, today we are overly fond of lumping people together and sticking them under a heading. We pick up the tiniest similarities between people and then decide that those similarities define those people. We have this idea in our head that if a girl wears short skirts, make up and we’ve heard she has a lot of sex, then she must be a skank. If they enjoy partying then, obviously, they must be a drop-kick stoner. A guy dresses well or has lots of girl friends, or a girl enjoys sport and doesn’t care about ‘girlie’ things, then they’re certainly gay. And of course, at the other end of the spectrum, if you see someone who’s trying so hard not to be like everyone else then they must be a hipster (don’t get me started on ‘hipsters’. My friend Kate and I have a theory that hipsters don’t exist).
Labels have likely been around forever (Currently learning about Ireland in Modern History. Defining people by their religion is an ancient form of labeling which cost millions of lives), but I’m certain they are getting worse as the years go on, to the point where today we label everyone so much that the term ‘individual’ is ceasing to exist. Every move you make is scrutinised by everyone around you and you are judged. Always judged. Every decision you make is under the microscope and then a label is slapped on you. A very sticky and hard to remove label.
Of course, we could all just ignore the labels and live happily ever after, but sadly this is High School (or maybe just the Real World) and we manage to revolve our lives around them. For some reason popularity is still the most important thing in the world (though not to yours truly who spent her weekend with the friends she refers to as The Marauders, watching Buffy, staring at people in restaurants, going to Maccas wearing fezes and listening to Trock.) and an overwhelming majority of teenage girls are obsessed with doing everything and anything to achieve it. Friendships end. People are bullied. Others do things they promised themselves they never would. All for the sake of a stupid label. Ironically enough, once they achieve the much sought after popularity, they open themselves up to a whole new level of judgement and labeling; labeling by association. When you’re ‘popular’ (another term I hate and believe doesn’t really exist) people just assume you do a whole heap of crazy things and it doesn’t matter if you’re the purest nun in the convent, the rumours won’t stop.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if labels just didn’t exist? If we didn’t care if people liked boys or if they liked girls. If we ignored the colour of people’s skin. If we didn’t give a damn whether you smoke weed or refuse to party, if you have sex everyday or are saving yourself, if you’re flunking out or acing everything. It. Just. Shouldn’t. Matter.
We are not soup cans or soft drink bottles. We do not need labels to be identified. We are our own people and should be allowed to be treated that way. Next time you find yourself going to stick a label on someone, think again. Get to know them. You might just find that what you were initially going to call Coke is really Fanta. And Fanta is your favourite.
frangipani princess xoxo