I guess we’ve all been guilty of labelling someone based on a stereo type or a physical feature before, but have we ever stopped and had a serious think about what we’re doing? Maybe that girl on my bus was only called “emo” once, but imagine if suddenly she was labelled everyday, by multiple people, as “emo”. What if she took on the activities and mindset associated with being “emo” and did start feeling depressed or even harm herself. All of this just because of one little word? On the other hand, she might be completely scared out of the whole “emo” thing altogether, but being scared out of a label is not always a positive thing. Imagine if instead of “emo” she was given the label of “nerd”. (Personally, I applaud “nerds” and “geeks”, because they’re smart, intelligent and pretty much control the world with their skills). But as I was saying, imagine all these people giving her the label “nerd” instead of “emo”. What if this young girl suddenly felt like her knowledge and smarts were all bad things and locked them away just to fit in with the crowd? That seems like a huge waste to me.
As a society, why do we have to put people into these categories and make generalisations? All we’re doing is limiting our knowledge and understanding while describing one aspect of a person. For example, there are numerous Facebook groups labelling people based on an individual thing about them. “You have a bandana? Oh, you must be a gangster!” The girl on my bus could just like the “emo fringe” style. It doesn’t mean she’s depressed. In fact she probably could be helping fight depression and youth suicide within the community for all we know.
A lot of us don’t understand other people’s styles, fashion and way of life, but it doesn’t mean we have to label them or assume everyone who has a certain style acts or thinks the same, or needs to be like that. I'd like to know how you deal with labeling, but first I’ll leave you with this video I remember watching when it first came out. Enjoy.
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