Human Labeling: How Does Society Box You Into Your Specific Category?
We live in a world where, in certain situations, you’re encouraged to think outside the box. Well, how do you expect yourself to think outside the box when you’re automatically placed in a box from birth?
As humans, we have a strong desire to place labels on everyone and everything… it helps us to keep order and it’s just easier to distinguish certain things. But the thing we have a hard time coming to grips with is the fact that we are indeed human beings, with feelings. Using labels to describe each other is a lackadaisical way to see each other as human beings.
To “box” someone with labels based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion is not a true reflection of who they are as a person. But let’s face it… freedom of speech gives people to say whatever they want, even if it means using socially inappropriate language… there’s no law prohibiting it but it’s socially shameful.
As a society, we’ve let our socially normal habit of labeling others to shape our perception of people, which is one of the leading causes of conscious and unconscious prejudice. That reason alone is why Psychology Today states that it’s extremely dangerous to label people. And despite the consistency of labels, various efforts have been made to encourage and promote equality now more than ever before.
This is indeed a controversial topic that everyone won’t see eye to eye on but it’s also a topic that needs to be discussed to draw awareness. Take a look at some of the categories that society labels people on.
Common Categories Human Labels are Based On
The fact that how much money you make is a means to label someone is beyond belief, some people have said. A person’s income doesn’t determine who a person is or how they feel. The stereotype is that the rich are happy and wealthy and the poor are miserable. But the death of Robin Williams disproves that theory tremendously.
Some of the richest people in the world are the most miserable people in the world. In addition to Robin Williams, other rich and famous people who lived unhappy lives include Anthony Bourdain, Kurt Cobain, and Don Cornelius. Their tragic deaths just go to show you that money isn’t everything.
Colorblind is something that the world is not. The color of one’s skin is something that has labeled people for thousands of years. On applications and various other forms of documentation, you have to check a box that describes your race, but if you pay attention, there is always a disclaimer that lets the applicant know that race is not a determining factor in the application process. If it’s not, then why do you have to list it?
Sexual orientation is a topic of discussion that makes many people feel uncomfortable. It may not be a topic people discuss over dinner but its a topic worthy of discussion. Whether you’re a man identifying as a woman or vice versa, the social acceptance of this label is growing day by day with the understanding that everyone is human with different character traits. Sexual orientation is something that many people are trying to adapt and adjust to and the sooner it’s socially accepted, the sooner everyone human can experience social freedom.
The only labeling in fashion should be when a fashion designer is deciding whether to go with ordering logo labels by Wunderlabel or when a customer is shopping designer labels… unfortunately, people are labeled based on what they wear.
Sure the fashion industry is a superficial industry but being judged as a person based on what you could find in your closet isn’t rational or fair. This judgment in fashion extends way beyond being labeled as “gothic” for wearing black… This prejudice is seen on a presidential level!
There are reports circulating that fashion designer Sophie Theallet, dresser for former First Lady Michelle Obama, is committing a hate crime against Melania Trump for not wanting to dress her based on comments by President Donald Trump.
The speculation is reasonable but in a world where freedom of speech runs deep, is Sophie Theallet really committing a hate crime if President Trump’s comments were offensive to her? And should she have to dress his wife? There are obviously mixed opinions about this but this wouldn’t even be a debate if it weren’t for human labeling.
Did you know that some of our world’s most brilliant minds didn’t go to college or have an education at all? Well, believe it because it’s true. From the moment we enter grade school, we’re boxed into the umbrella category of “student.” And as the school year progressed, you would then receive an additional label of things like “straight-A student” or “failing student” based on your comprehension of various subject matter.
When you tell people that you attended college, people look at you differently than if you were to tell someone you’re a high school or college “dropout.” Whether you went to college or not, the label doesn’t determine your true level of intelligence.