While browsing through WordPress reader, I came across a really good post which you can view here. It’s about labeling people and how it hurts.
Up until 9th grade I didn’t really have proper friends. All my classmates made assumptions on how I look. Based upon how I didn’t give one thought about make up or wearing good clothes, socialising and how I avoid talking about boys, I was the ‘tomboy’. Girls did make efforts to hang out with me but I just wasn’t interested in gossip or normal middle-grade girl things.
Soon, by 7th grade, I just got fed up and started bringing novels to school. Then I was labeled ‘bookworm’, mostly because no one else could even imagine reading books for fun. Even though now I’ve managed to get quite some people to read, I’m still called the bookworm.
I opened up a lot in 9th and 10th grade and made best friends. I openly fangirl and obsess about books and fictional characters to which they just support me. It feels really good. The more I opened up, the more people started talking to me and brought out the same ‘tomboy’ and ‘bookworm’ labels. A group of girls are going shopping nearby? They invite everyone present except me because they assume that I would rather read a book than be involved in the girly escapades. A couple girls in my own friend circle exclude me from conversations about clothes, boys and anything girlish because I’m not “like that”. It hurts. What if I might be? They wouldn’t know unless they asked. Just because I haven’t had a boyfriend in all my 17 years doesn’t mean you can cut me out of the conversation in those topics. I might not be overly enthusiastic, but I would at least pretend to listen because you’re my friends. I would make the effort.
We have uniforms in school therefore we see others in casual clothes mostly for tution/coaching classes or so. The past year, I was going for chemistry classes. This girl whom I’m not really friends with, pointed out after a few classes that I actually wear pink. She said it like she wouldn’t have imagined me wearing that colour. Why? Because its a girly girl’s colour? I do have quite a few clothes in pink, not just because of the color, but because they look good. It doesn’t matter which colour as long as I like it so I don’t give much thought to it. One of my so-called best friends was there and she didn’t say anything. Wow, self proclaimed best friend of mine, thanks for the back up. When we’re not with others it’s all, “you know I love you and you’re my best friend. You’re more important.” In front of other girls she just shuns me. I suspect it’s because I’m not “upto the type”.
When I’m introduced to someone, the mutual friend says that I’m the bookworm like it’s a part of my name. Let the person decide for themselves! A stranger starts discussing something about fashion or clothes with me, they jump in saying that I’m not really interested in all that, covertly dismissing me.
It hurts. Why WHY is everyone hell-bent upon labeling? Why do we have to fit a certain category to be “honoured” with your acknowledgement? Are you even sure that I want to be your friend before you begin ignoring me? Why are you so surprised when I know in-depth about something OTHER than books?
Objectifying people surrounding you might be only a filtering category for you, but its more for us. I feel like saying that to all those people’s faces who dump in a slot in their heads, who openly show it and say it to my faces assuming that I wouldn’t feel bad.
It’s one of the major reasons I’m so over high school.