Self Segregation: Fueling Hate with Words
Are you sexist, ageist or racist? No? Think again, you probably are.
Over the past few days, my Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin feed has featured this story quite a lot. The title Plus Sized Model Trolled showing up over and over, with people commenting about body confidence and beauty in every form.
As is the way with these things, the come on a loop. This story from September 2016, coming around yet again. The issue here, nothing other than the use of the term "Plus Sized".
It is not just weight related either, we use terms segregating ourselves and others all the time. Then get upset when people use them back, or reference them to identify us.
In an age where we quite literally have the world at our fingertips, where we are better educated than ever before. It is crazy to think we are going backwards in terms of segregation. Fuelled by the insistence of media to place labels on everything in order to catch the attention of readers.
Headlines like "Muslim man attacks" "Plus sized model trolled" "Black teenager arrested" and "gay man assaulted" are rife. "Female President" and "Lady CEO" all too common. What are we actually doing by opening ourselves up to these terms.
Opening ourselves up to scaremongering and hate by assigning terms like this to groups of people. There is no terms like White Model, Male President or Male CEO. It shouldn't matter what religion somebody is or their sexual preference when they are the victim of, or perpetrate a crime. The race, sex or sexuality did not cause the action. Some idiot did.
While I do appreciate the difficulties in the past with the race movement in America andwith opening up marriage to gay people, where people actively had to take a stand to be recognised and be given their rights there needs to be another change.
We need to stop self segregating. Stop using terms referencing difference. Stop Identifying people as black when you don't reference others as white, stop calling people gay when you don't call others straight, stop calling women plus sized models when others are just models.
We are all just people. Every colour, creed, shape and religion. People.
We tell children all the time, it's what's on the inside that counts. Then we go and make statements about what is on the outside.
Successful people like Oprah Winfrey, and Kelly Rowland making bold statements and re-enforcing terms like "Strong Black Woman" and "Successful Black Woman".
While it is vital we celebrate our culture and history. We need to stop looking at the past to shape our future. People are people. We are, as we are. It shouldn't need validation.
Let's not make it more complicated than it needs to be.
How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have?