This Is My Identity
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Health and Wellness

This Is My Identity

What identity means to me

This Is My Identity

Slut. Tease. Fake. Bitch. Nerd.

This is my identity.

Or rather, this is what they said my identity was.

Chances are, you’ve been called, or have called someone else, at least one of these hurtful words. We’re all guilty. The tragic end result of all of this name-calling is that we start to see ourselves the way others see us, whether or not that perception is justified.

Defining ourselves by the words of others is, apparently, not uncommon. One well-known example is the character of Citizen Kane. The entire movie, the viewer hopes to gain insight into Kane’s personality and motives behind his actions. However, we can only form our judgment of Kane through the stories that his friends and family – if they can be called that – tell about their experiences with Kane. As one would imagine, this gives us an unreliable and biased judgment of his character. Kane is unable to identify who he really is, and therefore leaves it up to others to do this for him. Others’ opinions shape him as a character; this is a strong statement about how many of us allow the words of others to define us. Just as Kane seeks to please others through his wealth, we consciously and unconsciously try to please others by fitting to social norms and refraining from doing things which people may deem as “inappropriate.”

So what’s inappropriate? Shorts that are “too short”, dresses that are “too revealing”, a girl who dates “too many boys”. Who defined these terms and who set the limits? We don’t know, and yet we still agree to these terms and label others just with a second glance. If someone is what we believe to be “too nice”, we dismiss our own insecurities by calling them fake. If they study more than they party, we label them as nerds. If a girl flirts with others without an end goal in mind, we call her a tease. And if she does have an end goal, we call her a slut. My high school used all of these words far too often, and I’m guilty of using some of them as well. I knew one girl who had been dating her boyfriend for two years, but she was called a slut because she had close guy friends. I also knew a girl who was naturally skinny, but she was called anorexic because people couldn’t understand that that was her body type.

Perhaps we can all take some advice from Tina Fey in Mean Girls, and stop calling each other “sluts and whores”. We can take it one step further and avoid name calling in general. Nobody wants to see himself or herself in a degrading way. Granted, it is hard to stop others from deriding us. Only those who have the will to change can do so. Therefore, the best ways to avoid letting others shape us, are to self-reflect and stay true to who we are. There is nothing wrong with having a high opinion of yourself and being confident in your own skin.

You are who you say you are.

Intelligent. Humorous. Beautiful. Unique. Empowered.

This is my identity.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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