a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You're Stronger Than Your Label.

Ever since you were probably a little child in grade school, you've had somesort of a label. It might have been about your physical appearance; fat, ugly, pretty,anorexic, midget, giant. It might have been about your intelligence; know-it-all, retard, mindless, genius, nerd. It might have been about your personality; hipster, popular, jock, nerd, emo, goth. It might have been about your sexuality; gay, lesbian, prude, slut. Whatever the label you were given, and we all have been given one, it seems to stay with us the rest of our lives...but it doesn't have to.
In just two days I will start high school again. My final year, and it's the place where labels are spread like a wildfire in the dry summer. My labels have been various things over the years, and always evolving as I evolve as a person. As a little girl it was four eyes; I had glasses that took up my whole face. As I grew older and read constantly, I was deemed a nerd. During junior high school I was seen as the loud, obnoxious girl vying for attention. My beginning years of high school I was called fake for trying to change who I was when all I really was doing was becoming was myself. And my most current label? A hipster. A negative word meaning someone who likes thrifted clothes, alternative ways of life, and coffee: lots of coffee. Labels have followed me my whole life and whether they still describe me or not, they'll always be engraved in my heart...

Why do humans feel the need to label each other? Labels like drugs can kill. It can take one simple snide label to push someone over the edge and kill themselves or do harm to their body. Some of the labels I've been called have been said to my face, some behind my back, and others anonymously on formspring (and I know you current formspring haters are going to have a field day with this post: bring it.) I've let all of my negative labels in the past bring me down. I would look at myself in the mirror and see all the words that people at school would call me. I would let the words eat away at me until I became those labels that people wanted me to be.
But I didn't have to do that and neither do any of you. We're stronger than the labels our fellow human beings give us. We're stronger than the harsh, cruel words that people stamp on us from day one. We are who we are and no name or label can ever change or make us that.
With this new school year, I'm going to try and break the labels people have given me in the past. Not only that, but I need to try myself not to label others. I need to stop and think. To think that every person is a person and can't be defined by their label.
With much love, Lauren.

P.S. And in case you were wondering; I'm dead on with the "o7' hipster." ;)


None said...

Brilliant post with much wisdom.

dahhlayne said...

The 2007 hipster look is actually my favorite one out of all these and is most likely me as well. haha
Isn't it crazy how we just have the need to judge others? It's like we have this thing in our mind that says if we don't really know them, we just have to give them SOME way of labeling. Crazy, crazy. And most of the time, our judgments are wrong.

I got your letter a couple days ago and I got so excited since it was the only exciting mail I've received so far. Now next step: find a stamp. haha


Kim said...

Wonderful post!

Sofi Moukidou said...

super post!
well done sweety!

Carys said...

Lovely post, and a very important things to write about too. Since leaving school a few months ago, it's been so nice to escape from all the labels I had been given! Good luck in your final year!!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Sara said...

i hate it when people label each other as well! don't ever listen to anybody who labels or judges you because they don't know your life or who you are. I love this post btw!


Unknown said...

Well done!

claire said...

i was doing a project for a mail group i belong to today and one of the things was to write a letter to your past self.
I felt quite satisfied after i'd written to my 16yr old self.
When you get past school you will find people that really matter, and they won't label you. the ones that do label you? screw them.
You are so much better than them.
When you look back on your school life in the future, you will see that that sentence is not a cliche. Its true.

EmilyCinnamon said...

This post was very touching to me. I just started high school a few days ago and it breaks my heart to hear all these words (simple words!) that mean a lot to everyone. A boy in my state, Iowa, was recently killed because of his sexuality, but people still say offensive things to everyone. I was labeled as FAKE, and its really uncomfortable. Thank you so much for posting this, I love every single one of them!:)

And on a postitive note, it would make my week if you checked out my blog: www.cinnamon-and_sunshine.blogspot.com.

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