‘Labels’, there has been quite a lot of talk about them lately. It seems to me that we find a strange sense of comfort in labelling everything. It’s almost as though categorizing things as so, makes them, in our eyes more relate-able. If you think about it we label society to understand where we belong. As if belonging to a stereotype was like a brotherhood of sorts. There seems to exist, certain, unspecified hierarchy and a weird comradery associated with these labels. So why does society enforce itself to fit into stereotypes. It feels as though we have now created a persona for stereotypes, and are forcing ourselves to fit the image.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a question of morality when talking about stereotypes, but rather a question of need? Why do we find a need to believe that we are just like anybody else? Are we really that afraid to be different? I don’t have anything against labels and stereotypes, I think they are useful in a certain sense, but the problem arises when we expect a stereotype to act a certain way. You don’t act a certain way because you are labelled as so; on the contrary, you are labelled as so because of your actions. Labels and stereotypes are like book titles to me. They are relevant somehow, but you just don’t get the whole picture. What people fail to understand is that there is more to a person than a label or two? We as a society have come far in the past few decades, in understanding our own behaviour, the question is how much longer till we are able to accept ourselves for what we are.
I find the need to explain this; when I say accept ourselves, I don’t mean use it as an excuse to explain our actions, or the lack of it; rather, I mean, we have to have an educated opinion of human behaviour and understand its many flaws to grow as human beings. Being tied down to a static image of a stereotype only seems to give us an excuse to hide behind.
What do you think? Do you find it necessary to fall into stereotypes? How do you deal with it when people expect you to act a certain way because if their misguided perception of you?
To Acceptance! May we always find the courage to accept ourselves and others, and the strength to grow!
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Image credits: ‘Now Accepting Applications’ by Barbara Friedman
As always, Be kind and have fun!