wait_what is such a _____ (fill in the blank with a label).

So, I saw a blog the other day discussing labels. Labeling is such a huge topic amongst teenagers, and being slightly older than the majority of the GSB population, I feel that it would be a good thing to relay some of my wisdom that I’ve collected over the years on this topic.

Labeling happens- get over it. Labeling is inevitable, and if you claim to never label people- I can guarantee you’re lying. You see, humans are complex, but with this complexity comes a need for simplicity. Therefore, when we see a person that fits a common look, dialect, lifestyle, et cetera- we place them in a category.

Think of it like this: you walk into an office building and you see a woman sitting at a desk answering phone calls- you automatically think that she’s either a receptionist/secretary. It’s the same exact way of labeling that occurs with you- preps, jocks, goths, punks, skaters, blah, blah, blah. If you look and act a certain way, then that’s how you’re going to be labeled. That receptionist I mentioned before may be something more than a receptionist- she may be a mother, a writer, or an aspiring model- I don’t know. My point is, is that yes, labels limit what strangers/acquaintances know about you, but at the same time they help people try to understand you better. (Good or bad) For instance- There’s a thought that male bosses will sleep with their secretaries. They’re also the idea that the receptionist will be able to help you find a certain person in a huge office building. There’s good and bad in everything.

With every type of label there comes stereotypes, prejudices, and what have you, but that’s just the way life is. I’m 20 years old, and I get labeled every single day. Yes, some labels I don’t like, others I don’t care about, and some I do care about. But the thing is, is that whether you like it or not, you can’t be a true individualist in the eyes of others. It’s just not how life works- you DO conform to some type of societal group- purposely or not.

Labeling simplifies the amount of thought processes going on in your brain. You see a girl waving pom-poms around and yelling, “Go team!”- you may automatically think that she’s popular. You’re mind doesn’t bother to go beneath the surface because you just don’t really care too. Imagine if you didn’t label people, and the amount of thinking that may cloud up your brain.

Labeling is just a common way of dealing with normal, everyday situations with people you see. Like it or not, that’s up to you- but you still label, and people are still going to always label you. If you don’t like the stereotypes associated with it- show people that you don’t act that way… If someone mislabels you, just ignore them.

The best thing to do is just not care what people think. Just know that people are going to think SOMETHING, whether you want them to or not. You know who you are- you know how you act- you know your label. That’s what really matters- try to present yourself as yourself, yes, but don’t become angry or upset when you are called something you don’t think you are.
Posted on June 3rd, 2007 at 06:42pm

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