Sunday, August 5, 2012

Labels and people...

I really loathe labels. I don't like people using them to describe me and I don't really like using them myself. Unfortunately I am a writer and sometimes have to use them when describing characters and I've even labeled people in my head when observing them in public. I also label them when I am severely pissed at them as you might have noticed in previous blog posts. We all do it, there isn't really a way around it unless you expend the extra energy and make a conscious effort to stop yourself when you meet or see people. It's not that easy, believe me I have actually tried. I think as humans our brains are wired to identify things right away and that means slapping a quick label on something or someone so we can decide how to deal with it, approach it, or ignore it. Natural instincts and all that. But are they really so vital? I understand getting a bad vibe about someone and walking quickly the other direction but for all the other instances in life where we see and meet people?

Personally, I would much rather someone tell me what they perceive themselves as than me try to figure out who and what they are because I really don't want them shuffling me into categories that may not be true. Yes, at first glance to an average person I appear overweight which would automatically make think that I just love shoveling food down my gullet or that I sit at home in front of the TV all day and that I am lazy. Not true. Well, yes I sit at home a lot but that's because I have lower back pain that sometimes debilitates me, severe depression, and a lot of social phobias. Honestly sometime being around people is extremely exhausting. That doesn't mean that I don't get off my ass every day and get out of the house. If I'm not at the Kroc Center exercising on days that I have mobility, I try to go window shopping and run errands. It's not easy for me and I hate going anywhere alone. I also cook and clean the house. Sometimes I have to cook sitting down which takes longer and when cleaning I can't do too much without help and several breaks. 

The point is, yes, I am fat, but I am not lazy and I do not spend all day in front of the TV scarfing down food. I am actually a lot of things, things that might surprise people. I like all sorts of different things and know a lot of fun and nerdy information, albeit a good majority is pretty much useless unless I was at a Scifi or Anime convention or with like minded enthusiasts but still.  But I know that people I meet or see are just people, there is more to them than what I see on the surface. A girl who is skinny and wears skimpy clothing might be a total bitch but she might also be one of the sweetest people in the world with a good heart. A guy who looks middle eastern might look like something scary but might be a really nice guy who isn't like all that we have been told. And just because someone isn't as pretty or as handsome as someone else doesn't devalue them as a person. That weird kid who looks like he stole his little sister's jeans and looks like he is just some attention seeking, fad following, punk might actually be someone who is brilliant and just likes a certain style. (Yes, I have actually thought that of a kid I saw not too long ago. Skinny jeans make no sense to me and look terribly uncomfortable but I don't have to wear them.)

I think people place far too much emphasis on looks and use their personal tastes and basis to label people unfairly. Because really, some of those amazingly gorgeous women and men are horrible people to those who care about them and to those who don't. Then again, some of them are really nice people. No one can be sure until they actually meet a someone and get to know them. 

I guess what I am trying to get across is, yes, we label people on instinct but even though we do that, we shouldn't hold to those labels until they are confirmed except when someone gives you the creeps. Frankly, nine times out of ten, in my experience, they really are creepy or dangerous. 

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