IDENTIFY

By Anjola

Labels.  

It’s what we put on everyone, it’s what we define others and ourselves by. 

Labels. 

It’s how our society works. The principle it’s unconsciously guided by, because people need a name, category or class to understand things.

My skirt is too short. I’m a slut.  

My skirt is too long. I’m a prude  

My blouse is too cut low and very tight. I’m a whore  

My blouse is too outdated, very unfitted and baggy. I’m not trendy  

My jeans are too form fitting and body hugging. I’m a tease.  

My body is near perfect for me; I’ve done the work and put in the time, I’m called a gym freak.  

My stomach shows, my muffin-top rolls over and my body in no way toned. I’m called podgy.  

As a woman, I speak my mind, take control of situations and circumstances head-on. I’m noted to be aggressive.  

I like books. I’m enthusiastic about reading and learning regardless of whatever environment I’m thrown in. I’m seen as a nerd and automatically slated as boring.  

I find my talent in the creatives. I’m not school or book smart, which I’ve communicated and proven time and time again. I’m irresponsible and uneducated.  

My brain works in a different way compared to the average person and it still doesn’t affect the goodness of my heart and person. I’m mentally unstable. 

I let others in easily. Quick to believe, quick to trust. I’m easy and gullible.  

I protect my heart and mind aggressively, by not giving into others wishes easily. I’m selfish and heartless.  

I keep a straight face, not talking, not smiling. Not because I can’t, but because it’s the crux of my personality. I’m a snob and proud.  

I’m the life of the party, jovial, cheerful and down-to-earth. Lending a smile every time to brighten the day of anyone around me. I’m fake, superficial and facetious.  

I mind my business because it’s mine. I ignore the business of others because it’s theirs. I’m not empathic.  

I delve into others problems and issues, excitedly wanting to proffer a solution. I’m a busybody.  

It’s the donkey and its owners’ story all over again.   

Labels. 

A string of letters society puts meaning to, either with positive or negative connotations. If society decided the word ‘blanket’ should have a negative connotation and associated the word as negative, would we act as so, knowing at the back of our minds that it’s merely a word? 

The point is, society has forced us to conform and fall into certain pre-conceived standards that, in reality, is not a true reflection of us.  

Sometimes my skirt is going to be short or long. My blouse can be tight or loose, my jeans baggy or fitted. But it’s okay.  

Some days I want to be a gym rat, some days I want to allow my ‘podgy’ side breathe. And it’s okay.  

Sometimes I’m book-smart, sometimes I’m street-smart.  

Somedays I want to be hyped, some days I want to be mellow.  

And it’s okay.  

I can be all of the above and still be me.  

We’re not all the same or all normal. Society’s greed for normalcy is like the hunger games, making everyone run around in pursuit of the greed of normalcy. If we were all to be so, all our fingerprints would be exact replicas of each other.  

Instead, we carry a unique barcode. So why follow labels? Just because society says so? Just because society deems it convenient to do so? 

I’m not what society thinks of me or how society sees me; I only make up a part of society.  

I’m what I think of me.  

So drop the labels.  

They only force us to fall into a class of what we think we are or what others think we’re supposed to be. They would never define us.  

Instead, let’s embrace positive affirmations. Let’s move into a world of only defining ourselves the way we see ourselves and not according to others’ definitions.   

Because I’m not what anyone thinks of me. 

I Am Me.  

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