"Don't be like this!"
Judgement and stigmas are all around us, but who created the boxes we are suppose to fit in?!
Am I the only one who hears this all the time?! People keep on telling me that "don`t be like this", "don`t be like that", "don`t act like this", "don`t act like that". For a little bit, I thought that it was because of my religious beliefs or my background, but even after a fresh start, I still hear it all around. Define me "this" and "that", please do, especially if you want me to be myself, then what is the problem with who I am. It sounds like being myself within the boundaries which were set without my knowledge. People keep on saying, that I don`t seem to be the same person who I used to be. I don`t think anyone does. We continually change and grow, so by now I don`t understand... None of it. I just don`t get it.
A movie quote totally sums up my last 20 something years. "I do everything for everyone. Everything, to be perfect. The perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect student." Yeah, this is literally how I lived all my life, trying to satisfy others and making sure nobody got hurt. Nobody, but me. So whenever I step away from that mentality, I get all the shade about not being my "usual" myself. Is it a problem that only follows me around or there are others with the same experiences?! If I really want to be honest, it would really surprise me if I was the only one facing with this.
Now, in the time of the pandemic, we don`t meet that many people and we don`t get the chance to show ourselves to the world as much as we used to. We don`t dress up, putting on makeup or trying out new hairstyles just to go from the kitchen to the living room or to take out the trash. This became our current reality. But in the same time, now we have way more time to spend with our own thoughts. I am not exactly sure if it`s a positive or a negative thing, but it is what it is. We got more time to think about who we are and what do we want in life. I don`t say, that we actually going to figure it out in the end, but we definitely try out some new things. Maybe because we are bored, true, it is part of it, but other than that, we don`t have much to lose right now. A bad haircut, or dying your hair to a colour that isn`t quite the right fit, won`t get people side eyed at you on the street or have the fear of getting fired and such. So here we are exploring our inner us with more or less luck. I jumped on the same train myself. I used to be brown haired my whole life, never changed it, never even spray coloured it. Not anymore, I have purplish deep dark red hair now. It used to be really long, now it`s much shorter. Some people liked the change and some didn`t. If I really wanted to be honest, I didn`t do it out of being rebellious or out of curiosity. It was more like a demonstration, that changing my look doesn`t change the person who I am. Almost my whole life everyone told me, that if I changed my look, it would change me. It might changes the way I feel, but it won`t change me completely, it won`t make me a different person. They were keep on telling me that a piercing, a tattoo, a different hair colour, different makeup or clothes would change me. I changed my hair, my makeup, my clothing style and I got a temporary tattoo (I have issues committing to permanent one yet), but I`m still me. I AM STILL ME!
What I`m trying to say here is that, who is the one who created the boxes we have to try to fit in?! Who was it and when did it start?! I don`t think there is one individual who started it; neither I think there was a specific time when it all started. I guess, this is just a weird cultural thing that we want to make sure, everyone fits into our expectations. It gets passed down from grandparents to parents, parents to kids and so on. Nowadays the media is giving a push into it and let`s not forget about the stigmas... Yep, I`m talking about the body types, mental health issues and everything that we feel to hide, because nobody would understand or accept. You all know what I`m talking about, that`s why we are dealing with so many fakes in the world.
I`m not going to shame anyone, that is not my job neither my reason to write this, more like bringing up a problem that we have been acknowledging, but in the same time we have been ignoring it as well. We have been shaming people for not fitting into the box, but we are shaming them if they do. We fight for body positivity, but if someone shows up in a body positive outfit, we side eye them... Come on!!!!! Really?! Can`t we do better?! Like minding our own business?! That could work...
I admit, I do look at the extreme ones, like "what am I looking at?!", sometimes I get confused by some people`s personal style, but I don`t come at them calling them out. Good for them to be who they are, good for them.
You know, if you grow up in a community where they always show you and tell you how things supposed to be and look, after a while you lose yourself. Is that really what we want to pass down to our children and to the next generation?! Judgements and boxes to fill?! I don`t think so. So let`s not do that! Healthy doesn`t mean skinny. Having a muffin top doesn`t mean fat. Depression and anxiety doesn`t mean broken. Struggling doesn`t mean being weak. Being single doesn`t mean being lonely... Everyone has a different story and we should not judge by first glance. Being supportive doesn`t mean that we agree with them 100%, but it does mean that we love them enough to let them be 100% themselves. I let that sink in.