I find it truly amazing (and not in that good amazing way) that in the age and era that we live in, people are still being pigeonholed, labeled, and stereotyped into categories.
For example, you know the guy that goes through multiple women, never to settle down — or as I like to refer to it as “settling up”?
Well, if you can imagine, he’s still called “the playboy.”
Or the girl that has too many tattoos on her arms and adorned with multiple earrings distributed all up and down her lobes. Yep, she’s termed “the rebel.”
How about the girl who explores her sexuality and embraces it fully? (and I do mean fully — no judgment. Swear)
You got it. She’s coined, for lack of a better term, “the slut.”
Or the man who likes to hang with only “his kind” of people.
“Alex, I’ll take “the elitist” for $500.
Even calling a person crazy implies that this person is mentally unstable. (ok, there’s some truth in that one–just sayin’.)
Do we really have the right to make those kinds of evaluations?
I mean the last I checked, not everyone was a board-certified psychiatrist, and most of us really do live in houses made of pure glass. (Metaphorically speaking, of course, but you knew that.)
We throw around terms like narcissist, alcoholic, addict, loser, gold-digger, homophobe, racist, extremist, perfectionist, anorexic, fat, social climber, et cetera, rather loosely. The list goes on and on. We categorize and tag and brand and identify.
But here’s the thing: who are we to judge?
What we really need to do is avoid the consumption of assumption. (Pretty fancy phrase, huh? Thank you, thank you!!)
People are complex and multifaceted, multidimensional, and many sided. When referring to others, there’s nothing really wrong with using a description. Writers do it all the time.
However, there is a HUGE difference between describing a person as opposed to actually labeling them. The use of labels is actually unfair, and many times builds a reputation for a person that is completely unjust and winds up following them throughout their lives.
As my father would say, “What a shanda!”
How about the ” trophy woman” who is younger, hot and partnered with an older successful gentleman?
Is that woman really a trophy even though they have been together for years and she loves him dearly, or did the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend call her that in order to make themselves feel better?
Labeling is what others seem to do when they are either threatened, jealous or uncomfortable with a given situation.
Is that girl really a slut, or does someone’s boyfriend find her attractive and so now she’s being slut-shamed by his girlfriend?
Is that man really a womanizer, or does he date multiple women because he can’t find the “right one” and so he continues to date anyone in a desperate attempt to not be alone in his old age?
All these situations have alternative perspectives if we only choose to look.
Labeling a person can do much more harm than some believe. If you were school aged, it might be called bullying, but in adulthood, we negatively label in order to intimidate or to minimize the relevance of another in order to make ourselves feel better.
The truth is– some really do feel better about themselves when minimizing others. It’s the ultimate ‘delusional tool’ to self-elevation and it’s sad.
Another form of labeling is what I like to refer to as “the half-sided negative tag.” A prime example of that might be when a successful man dates any woman.
He always gets labeled “stud.” She gets labeled “opportunist.”
In the end, putting labels on people is just a way of marketing something we don’t want to understand.
For me personally, I think I’ll keep my labels reserved for my kids’ camp clothes and the pickle jars.
Until Next week,