Labels

So I had someone ask to pick a label when it came to my lifestyle or how I dress or something. I always just use Alternative because that broad label fits me better than any little one. I'm not punk, scene, or even goth. Though I would lean more towards goth than any other and while I really like goth music and it is my favorite type of music. I also really love alternative rock or music like Icon for Hire and Evanescence. So there isn't really one solid label that fits other than Alternative as I grab from all of those things. 

Then there is another label I claim: Pagan. I guess I could go more for Wiccan but part of my practice varies from Wiccan so I couldn't say that is 100% correct though it would be close. I could keep going, people have come up with some many labels these days.... I could say that I'm a cisgender, bi sexual, pagan, alternative, bookworm, writer, blogger, baker, ex retail worker, mother, Native American, Irish, Independent... so on and so on. 

When did we get so obsessed with our labels? 

Is it easier to find our own kind this way? Easier to find the ones we have things in common with by using such labels? That can work sometimes but I can say that in real life, I've never met another bi-sexual person. Just me... so that would leave me rather lonely if I'd only be friends with others like me. 

So if that is aside, do we use labels as a way to tell people who we are without wasting a lot of time? Maybe if these people don't like our labels we know we don't want to be friends with them. 

Do we use labels to try and make ourselves feel better about ourselves? More special? Because the Nerf generation has always been told they are special that when they get out in the real world and see it's not true that they lose their minds and have to create a way to be special?

I don't mean to pick on anyone. I was the same way... still am a little, trying to let it go. I don't want to just be a label. There is more to me than that. I read this article and this article also and it really helped me see that by using so many labels and just defines ourselves so hard, we aren't leaving any room to grow, we are judging others just by what they labels they use. We are pushing others away when they have labels we don't like.

Why do we try to put ourselves into a box? It's not very comfy in there, let me tell you. Then you start to feel the weight of these labels... take Goth for example, if you aren't wearing the right clothes, listening to the right music, reading the right stuff and so on and so on... then you aren't goth. If you like reading light and fluffy books but want to be goth and so you make yourself read books you hate just for the sake of that label? 

Where is the fun in that? Life is so short, don't put yourself in to a box. Don't make others put themselves in a box either. You and I are more than whatever labels we have. Don't ever forget that. Just always be yourself no matter what. Don't let other's tell you who to be. Don't think you have to be this or that way just because the rules of the label say so. 

Fuck the rules and fuck the labels. 

Just be yourself, that's what is going to make you happy and that's all it's really about. 

Comments

  1. I think labels can have both good and bad effects. I agree that labels can really put someone in boxes and can cause a lot of issues.....one example I see is using peoples' racial group, gender, etc against them even though it has nothing to do with what they're saying! That always pisses me off. I also like your example of not reading what you want to read because you want to label yourself "goth" or whatever.....I never understood this need to sculpt one's entire life to fit a single narrative, when we are more than just one label, narrative, or characteristic!



    On the other hand though, labels do have important functions. Cisgender as a label was created so that the options were not "Trans and non-trans".....or essentially implying "not normal and normal". Similarly, it's a lot easier for me to introduce myself as struggling with an anxiety disorder than to explain "I have panic attacks and anxiety attacks for no reason sometimes, and it causes me to shut down (etc)". So labels can be really useful in that sense.


    But I think people are moving more and more towards wanting humans to be like soup cans, so to speak....everything about them automatically on display, selecting people based on their "ingredients". And that really freaks me out! People need to use labels in moderation, just like anything else.


    Great post! and some great ideas.

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