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Feeling Label-y? How to Break Free From The Label Dictator

So, I was watching a vlog post this week, on YouTube, by Vix from New Age Hipster & she mentioned something about labels. We all seem to be thrown into categories & slapped with labels; sometimes by others & sometimes by our own doing.

Who Be Labelin'?

In the New Age community people are coming out as identifying as a "Starseed," or "Indigo Child," or reincarnated "Angel," the list goes on. There are even quizzes that you can Google to try & figure out "what you are." Although I think it's fine if you find out that you are one of these types of beings, but I think labels tend to separate us instead of bring us together. I also believe that labels create stereotypes & narrow points of view about people who are pigeonholed into certain categories. My poor little puma has been stuffed into the Siamese cat category (Begin Sarah McLachlan music).

Poor little abused, Wally

There are several different types of labeling that go around in our society. If you play football, you are labeled a "jock." The stereotype of a jock is that you are probably a boy, you wear your letterman's jacket everywhere, you are good-looking, & you probably are not very book-smart. Pretty offensive, right? Unfortunately, go watch any TV show, or movie about teenagers & the definition of a "jock" is pretty par for the course.

Don't We Need Labels?

You're probably thinking, "But, Tara, don't we need labels so that we can quantify things, crunch numbers, & feel 'safe' because labels help us to understand our world?" Yes, we do need categories/labels for surveys, studies, measures of economic status among certain groups, but I'm talking about social labeling.

Social labeling is when a person labels himself/herself, or we assign them a label, & we feel that the person must stay within the confines of that label. If they have variants to their label, we have a harder time understanding them, we may attack them for not acting as they're "supposed to." The other option could be that the person is not attacked by an outside force, but rather within themselves. He/She knows what their category/label is, but feel there might be something "wrong" with them because they stray from the stereotype.

What Is My Label?

Ok, so where is all this rabbling about labels coming from? My whole life, people have been trying to assign me to certain labels. As an English teacher there is this unspoken rule that I need to be this absent-minded space cadet that races about her classroom, with a messy bun, crooked glasses (Again, check out any TV show, or movie featuring an English teacher), rambling on & on about how Shakespeare is the end all, be all, to dramatic literature (Ok, so Shakespeare IS my homeboy, but I know that there are other greats out there).

Martin High School

The fact that I have other facets to my personality has actually alienated me from my fellow English teachers. They are not trying to "dis" me; they just don't know what to do if I'm not all English all the time. I was a "jock" in high school, I coach the track team, I sing opera professionally, I own a photography company & I love geeking out over new camera gear (I get serious lens envy whenever I go to the zoo & people be busting out their 400mm lens, monopod, D4 camera bodies... is it getting hot in here?), I read tarot cards, & sometimes talk to entities from other realms-- what's the prob? The problem is just that. How can I be all those things? How can I simultaneously love running around in my sports bra & booty shorts, slinging weights & cursing like a sailor in the gym, yet be just as comfortable wearing evening gowns & turning into a '40s siren for my opera gigs? Mind BLOWN.

Mo' Fo' mode...

Mo' Fo' Singing mode...

Let's All Just Loosen Up

To bring this ramble to a close, basically, let's all just loosen our grip on labels. Labels will always be here, but let's allow them to be a little more fluid, let them encompass more creativity, talents, etc. Maybe your perfect day is sitting around trying out new tarot spreads, & maybe a perfect day could also be kicking the shit out of a heavy-bag while screaming profanities about "fuckwads."

Gouging out the eyes of imaginary "turd nuggets" brings me so much Zen

If you want to ramble more about labels & turd nuggets, or whatever, head over to my FB page or leave me a comment in the space below.

Peace, Love, & Chicken Grease,

Tara :o)

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