Tag Archives: judgment

Breaking the stereotype

We live in a society where being different is frowned upon. Expressing who you truly want to be is unacceptable and can make you an outcast within friends, family, and professional environments.

People can be judged on every small detail starting from how you carry yourself to how you dress. Clothing companies strive on stereotypes created by a society built on fitting into a certain category, making it that much harder to tear down the walls and expand out of what is expected of us.

Don’t you wish we could define ourselves however we want to? Can you imagine a world where we are allowed to wear whatever we wanted to without being judged or ridiculed for not dressing how the world wants us to? The first place we need to start is retail stores.

boy and girl
“There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces.”

Clothing stores are the definition of stereotypes. There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces. It’s not their fault, really. Society has constructed those people into thinking that gender comes in only black or white, boy or girl, masculine or feminine, but that simply isn’t true.

People should be defined as just that, people. Some identify as a boy or as a girl, but some people don’t. It isn’t fair to expect someone to fit into a specific definition when it’s way more complicated than that.

I’m a girl who likes to wear “girly” clothing but I also love to wear “boy” clothing. When I head over to the “boy” section of a store, I want to feel comfortable and like I belong there, not as if I am confused or out of place. Clothing companies owe it to us to give us the opportunity to be our authentic selves, not to be forced to be the person we think we should be.

Designers need to catch up to the 21st century and start designing clothes that are gender neutral. I’ve been dying to see clothes that have always been made for boys being made for girls. Start creating masculine clothing that fits my small frame. One of the most frustrating experiences is finding a shirt or a pair of pants in the “boy’s” section that I love but having it be way too big for me.

If designers starting making “boy’s” clothes fit girls, it would allow for the inclusion of all genders as well as let everyone wear the clothes they want to and to feel comfortable in those clothes.

Of course, I know that beginning to make clothes gender neutral doesn’t create the end all of gender stereotypes nor the feeling of not fitting in; however, I believe we have to start somewhere and allowing for those who don’t fit into society’s ideal of gender were to be able to express themselves appropriately through clothes, it would be a good start.

Size doesn’t matter

I’ve noticed that my generation can be too obsessive about their weight, size and shape. This is something that disturbs me greatly. When you’re in your late teens and early twenties, it’s generally a good idea to let go of those old middle school insecurities and try to be comfortable in your own skin.

In the time I’ve attended school here, I’ve realized that people think nothing of commenting on the way other people look, and they even comment too much on the way their own bodies look. What I’m trying to say is this: please get over yourselves. Of course, everyone should strive to be healthy, but for some of us that means being a little over or under the average weight for height. It’s alright to have a different body type than other people.

I have a personal problem with people judging themselves and others for their weight, because I know what it’s like to be judged. In high school I became fairly underweight because I couldn’t keep my food down no matter how hard I tried. No, I didn’t have an eating disorder. I have acid reflux, which is now totally under control by prescription. Even though I didn’t have an eating disorder, it bothers me to hear people judged so much because I was made fun of mercilessly by my larger friends during the time I was underweight. Their attempts to make themselves feel better by putting me down led to ruined friendships, and that is the sort of petty thing that young adults shouldn’t have to deal with anymore.

Don’t think that this is only aimed at the excessively skinny, it goes for larger people, too. No one should have to feel bad about themselves, and that includes the overweight. I know that in the past our culture has been more accepting towards the girls who resembled Twiggy, but the times have changed. Big people are beautiful too, and they deserve just as much respect as everyone else.

The sad part is that I can’t even aim my disappointment toward men. They can be pretty horrible with their judgments at times, but I hear worse things more frequently coming from young women. What’s worse is that they attack each other when they should be more supportive, because we’re all in the same boat when all is said and done. Even the most stereotypically attractive people have tons of insecurities. One could probably write volumes about how much they criticize themselves.

By the way, this goes for clothing, too. It’s not right to make fun of people if their style isn’t the same as yours. In high school I was one of those creepy kids who came to school wearing all black, glaring at everyone. Now my wardrobe is practically all pink and blue, but I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Clothing may reflect how a person feels on any given day, but it does not make the person who they are. Don’t write someone off just because you think they dress oddly.

What this has been leading up to is this: our generation needs to learn how to accept ourselves, and each other. Life is no longer a popularity contest. People want to be around you for your personality more than anything, so don’t try to be something you’re not, and don’t expect other people to do that, either.

Cover and story photo by Kasey Sutphin