Monday, August 25, 2014

Labels & Stereotypes

You know what's really annoying? Labels.
They follow you around and stick to you like some sort of disease or leech. And no matter what you do, no matter where you go, there they are. Torturing you, making you feel lesser than, and keeping you held down. I'm not sure why, but at one point in my life, I thought that I could escape labels and stereotypes. I thought that I could make it through this life as just a normal girl with no problems.
Boy, was I wrong.
Being in middle school sucks for everyone. You're trying to figure out who you are, you have more responsibilities and you're just confused, but don't even realize it yet. Too bad no one gives you a warning or a "How to Survive Middle School: AKA 3 Years of Endless Torture" handbook. It's just like you step out onto a battlefield without any armor, or any type of weapon to defend yourself. You'd think that since everyone is going through a weird time, they would be understanding. Ha. No, that's not how it works. Spoiler Alert: Middle schoolers are the most evil beings on the planet. I walked in on the first day of 6th grade thinking that I was going to make a ton of new friends, have awesome grades, amazing and helpful teachers and all the good stuff every kid hopes for at the beginning of the school year. But instead I got bullied, I became suicidal, I worked my butt off trying to fit in (it didn't work by the way), and I asked the teachers for help, and they tried to drown me too. And I went through all of this because why? Labels. Stereotypes. They didn't like the way I talked, they didn't like the way I walked. They didn't like the way I carried myself. They didn't like the fact that they couldn't be me. And frankly, back then, I didn't like myself so I just let them tear me down and burn me at the stake. I didn't care. I did after all hate myself.

Let's see, what were my labels? Oh I remember; "The Proper Talking Black Girl" and "The Girl Who Thinks She's Better Than Everyone Else" and then there was "The Wanna Be White Girl" and "The Weird Girl In The Corner With The Book" oh and "The Quiet One".
I could literally go on and on. Of course, after I got pulled out of the public school system, I thought that the labels would go away. I thought that I would be set free from them. But labels are sticky and impossible to get rid of. They don't even give you the chance to breathe.
Before I knew it, new labels had latched onto me.
Let's list those, shall we?

The Black Girl (the force is strong with this one)
The Girl With Emotional Problems
The Boy Crazy Girl
The Girl Who's Home Schooled
The Wanna Be White Girl (this has been with me my whole life and i wish it would leave but)
The Hyper Girl (for when i get excited)
The Girl With Family Problems
Another Black Girl With No Father (when i actually hang out with my dad a lot...awks)
The Pretty Girl (so people assume i'm stupid and conceited)
Another Pitiful Teenager With A Single Parent (free stuff doesn't help by the way)
And this is my favorite one guys...


Who knew so many stereotypes could be attached to one person? And who knew that these little suckers could get your feelings hurt or make you feel so insecure. I can only imagine how many  stereotypes you have. You can totally comment them down below if you want. 'Cause I know I'm not the only one dealing with this.

Stereotypes are just one of the not so good things about being a human being.

And each one has a list of things that people assume match up with you. Like since I have The Black Girl stereotype, people assume all I do is watch/play basketball, (i'm actually so scared of the ball and i just figured out how the game is played like last year) eat fried chicken, get a weave, get my nails done, twerk, (oh wait, everyone does that now) cuss out everyone, and listen to rap music.

And the Christian Girl stereotype includes; people assuming that you're uptight, people assuming you can't do anything because you actually have a religion, people assuming that you hate homosexuals and people of other religions, and yeah people just assume you're awful. Oh and my other favorite, The Home Schooled Girl. When you're home schooled, people of course assume that you don't get out much. They assume that you're a little genius (that's not so bad though) that stays locked away in your house and doesn't know how to socialize. Let me just say in the defense of me and all the other home schoolers out there, that's nowhere near true. I'm so busy ever since I started home schooling. There are parties, proms, sports teams, we've got it made. I'm having more fun than I did when I was in public school. There are more options, and plus, colleges love home schooled kids. So sometimes you can just casually take free college classes before you even graduate. The possibility of friends is like unlimited. I've met so many interesting people through being home schooled. Everything's not all fine and dandy, though. You still have teenage drama and stuff as you would with a regular public school. I guess there's no way to escape that. (sighs)

Life for me is actually pretty good for me right now. Of course every once in a while, someone will ask me if I like rap music, kool-aid, or if I hate homosexuals, but I don't blame them. That's just the stereotypes talking.

Each time I'm around people, I feel like I have to prove to them that I don't add up to these stereotypes that society created. I have to prove that I'm not stupid, that just because I'm a Christian doesn't mean I look down on everyone who isn't, that my hair is real, that I'm smart, that I have friends, and so on and so forth.

But you know what? I'm so tired of having to try and prove myself to people. No one should have to work so hard to get the stereotypes out of people's heads. So I've decided from this moment on that I will stop trying to prove myself. I don't care if I get stereotypical questions from every other person I talk to. I know who I am, I know what I stand for, and in the end, that's all that matters. Who cares about labels and stereotypes? They shouldn't run your life or mess with the way you see other people.

So don't let them.