Labels… simple words we connect to people, to identify them in a diverse world like ours… Coming in forms like stereotypes we usually tend to think negatively of them. However, I like to think of them in a good and bad way.
The Good: We all have an identity. Without a unique distinction, we would simply become a part of a single monotone blob. Labels are a way of expressing who we are, whether that’s through labeling how we act, how we dress, how we live. Not only do we become an individual on the scale of society, we can meet others that have similarities, connecting with them. Labels are an important element in our world and exist no matter what happens. Humans are constantly categorizing and organizing, identifying and matching. It’s in our nature. And there’s nothing wrong with labeling people in order to identify them…
It’s what you do with those labels that is the problem.
The Bad: Judgment… Stereotypes… Discrimination… It’s universal knowledge for the most part that these terms have negative connotations. When some people create labels, they add a little negativity to it. Labeling someone’s appearance isn’t bad, but it’s when you label someone “ugly” or “fat” that labels start to harm the other person. Discrimination of women, people of nationalities or sexual orientation also takes a simple label and uses it as a weapon against the other person. Stereotypes are sneaky ways to create typically false, harmful labels. Yet, the worst case in labeling would be self-labeling with a mix of lower self-esteem. Outside discrimination can be ignored, outside judgment can be set aside, but the judging and self-discrimination that happens inside one’s head is always there. You can’t run from what’s inside your head. Unless you change your way of thinking, you can’t escape.
The Labels: With a positive outlook, labels are simply elements of life and society. They can even be handy in finding friends, in self-discovery. Nonetheless, just as many people around the world experience, with the slightest bit of negativity, labels become one’s worst enemy. We all have identities, but we don’t need a pessimistic opinion accompanying it.
Sie ma! POOF!