We all label people. We label each other and ourselves on a regular basis. It is human nature. We are determined to put people in these neat, little boxes. We often find it difficult to comprehend people who do things outside of listed characteristics per each box. For instance, a girly girl. What is the first thing you think of when someone says girly girl? Chances are you picture a girl wearing a dress and high heels, with a matching bag, perfectly manicured nails and lots of makeup. Chances are, you think of a girl who hates or doesn’t understand sports, a girl who has no idea about cars, a girl who only likes to shop. These characteristics, these stereotypes make is easy for people to understand people. And, that is just one example.
So, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What do people see when they see you?”
When people see me I believe they see a tall, curvy brunette with long legs, and large breast. They see my colour coordinated outfit, high heels and handbag. They see my makeup, my pretty blue eyes and every other physical feature. So, it’s easy for them to label me as a girly girl because I fit all the criteria for that particular box. And, I don’t blame them for labeling me as such because I am a very feminine person. My favourite colour is pink, I love anything with sparkles and I absolutely love shopping. I prefer to wear dresses instead of pants, I prefer high heels instead of sneakers and I own more handbags than anyone else I know. I like playing around with makeup and trying different hairstyles. If we were sorting people into different categories based on character traits, I would definitely end up in the girly girl pile.
Labeling me based on my physical appearance is one thing, but to use my physical appearance to make assumptions about my personality is completely unacceptable. I have been told things such as, “You’re pretty, so it’s okay if you’re not all that smart” and “You like football? *laughs* That must be because of Tom Brady”. Because, heaven forbid a pretty girl could be smart or like football for more than the guys in tight pants. I have been called a Barbie Doll, a bitch, stuck-up and too-opinionated. The first three of these assumptions were based solely on my appearance.
If you peel back the layers and look at what’s beneath you’ll see so much more. I know a decent amount about types of cars, I know how to change tires and change the oil because I used to work in a garage. I would rather listen to rock n’ roll over pop music any day. I am intelligent and I am driven. I not only like, but I also understand football. Sure, Tom Brady is attractive, but he’s not why I watch the game. I swear a lot. I don’t mean to, but I do. And, for those of you who think swearing is unladylike, f@#k off because I really could not care less. I love animals; my two pets are my children. Actual human children annoy me. Sure, they’re okay from a distance, but I can’t imagine dealing with one 24/7. This may be a shock to the people who believe having a uterus and ovaries means automatically loving kids. News flash: not all women melt into a pile of emotions around children. And, no, that does not make us any less of a woman.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I am more than my dresses, high heels and handbags. I am more than my love for shopping and makeup. I am more than a girly girl. And, so are you. Labels are for jars, not people. We do not need to fit into these neat little boxes. We do not have to meet a certain list of characteristics. We can be whoever the hell we want to be and no one can stop us. Being smart doesn’t mean you’re a geek. Being pretty doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Being quiet doesn’t mean you’re stuck-up. Be who you are and never apologize for it.
I challenge you all to pick a term that you have been labeled and explain the reasons why you are way more than that. Keep it in a journal and read it whenever you feel trapped in one of those neat little boxes or when people are trying to push you into one. Use it in times of doubt if you begin to feel like nothing more than what people label you. There is not way to stop people from labeling, but we can stop what we do about it.