Labels

Weather is fascinating to me, as it is as torrented and ever changing as I am. It tends to be rather unpredictable as it is constantly evolving. One day it might be windy and the next cloudy. It might be raining one day and sunny the next.

However, the most intriguing weather has to be the aftermath. The calm after the storm is undoubtedly the utmost reason for my love of the weather. The silence invokes a calm inside of me. I can always count on the sun to be there after a storm. My favorite time of the day is definitely at dusk when the sun sets.

Sunsets have always been a fascination to me. I’ve grown accustomed to watching the sun set over the horizon, turning the sky into a myriad of colors, blending them all together. The thing I love most about sunsets is how they’re constantly changing as well. Every sunset is different, the sun and combination of colors is never the same. Sunsets are special because each one is inevitably different, the colors, the light, the clouds, It’s impossible to label  or define one particular sunset because there are so many unique variations.

As a society, we tend to gravitate towards placing labels on everything. Humans feel a need to label others constantly, to distinguish and differentiate. I feel that labeling each other almost dehumanizes us in the sense that it objectifies and turns us into no more than material things.

Labels cause us to form preconceived perceptions of one another, it warps reality.

Although labeling is negative, we are all guilty of it, whether we like it or not. Somehow in some way, you are probably labeling someone else or thing. I feel that sometimes we can’t even help it, since it has been programmed into our minds from day one.

It infuriates me at times, how we subconsciously place labels on people. In conscious thought, think about how many labels we use on a daily basis. From boring to nice to scary to mean. All of these words help us to form a perception of others based on connotations and bias.

At the end of the day, we’re all human beings. We all just want to live our lives and be happy.

Why must we let meaningless labels that don’t define us determine our self worth and importance?

It pains me to see stories about people committing acts of self harm or hear talk about suicidal intentions. I’ve personally had a lot of friends that have opened up to me about their depression and suicidal thoughts over being called or judged a certain way.

One of my friends, Lucy, is one of the best people I know. She’s a great person inside and out, but has constantly struggled with body issues. Last year, she got bullied a lot by others who called her “fat” and shamed her for her looks. It became an everyday routine, she would wake up, go to school, get called nasty names, go home, and cry herself to sleep. She would call me often at one in the morning in tears, crying or telling me how she felt like she wasn’t worth anything. That she wasn’t worthy of life.

It affected her in ways those people would’ve never imagined, the things they called her and how they treated her. It breaks my heart to write about this because it brings back old memories and feelings about her, feelings I hoped to forget. Without friends and loved ones, I worry about what might’ve happened.

Today, she’s a lot better and has gotten through the hard times, but it is still sad to think about the low point she was at in life just a year ago. All of her pain and sadness was unnecessarily brought on by the first time she was called “fat”.

Why do labels exist to describe our size and body types. Our appearances shouldn’t be the sole factor we are judged upon. People are like avocados. Every avocado is the same inside, but they all look different. Even though we are all different appearance wise, we’re all the same. Body shaming is a huge issue today and most of us don’t even realize it. We’re pressured to attain the ideal body type, the prized size zero. A size is a label itself, as it classifies our bodies under a certain category. We’re all just trying to live. Why should it matter that someone is a size 2 versus a size 10?

Labels categorize and can be used in forms of discrimination.

Why must we always use labels to classify each other? Why do we have to fit into a category? Why do labels even exist?

Simliar labels that should dissapear are labels regarding sexuatliy or even political parties. People aren’t defined by their sexuality. Whether a person is heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or even transsexual. These are just labels!! Yet, people are judged and discriminated against because of it. Likewise with political parties. Especially after the recent presidential election, America has been divided as a result of it. Democrats hate Republicans and likewise. I just don’t understand why labels describing our political parties could divide us as a nation. How do our political affiliations determine if we are good or bad people?

Labels cause people to classify or think about themselves a certain way, whether it’s a positive or negative one. It’s blatant that they affect our judgement and actions. Like every sunset, everyone is different. Difference should be celebrated, not suppressed. Labels are just one more barrier dividing us all.

If you wish to be enlightened about our society’s labels, check out the article, Society’s Labels, on the Odyssey.

 

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