We've all seen it, and perhaps we've done it:
Every time I see these self-identity claims as captions, I cringe. I cringe because what I see isn't a typical white girl at all, but a creative, beautiful, unique girl with lots to show the world. And she just so happens to love fall and Starbucks. Does that make her common?
Apart from being racially incorrect and insensitive, these hashtags destroy originality and self-confidence. They provide convenient places to store our identity, to fit in and to celebrate what we attribute as basic but is really far from it. What we don't realize, though, is that calling ourselves a "basic white girl" destroys what sets us apart faster than Southern weather destroys our ideals of fall.
Why do we do it, then? Why do we join in the choir of fabulous girls discrediting themselves? And how can we stop this trend?
1. We Want to Fit In
We just want to make our lives look like every other girl, hence the "typical" of #typicalwhitegirl. We settle for copying the culture's idea of "basic," trying to find acceptance in this crazy world where everybody knows everybody's business but nobody knows anyone's heart.
What if, however, we learn that we can't find acceptance from others until we find it in ourselves? We can't find acceptance in ourselves, though, until we find it in Jesus. But guess what? Jesus accepts us solely upon His love and character. He has already accepted us, so why are we trying to earn it from unsatisfactory sources?
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1)
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died from us." (Romans 5:8)
2. We Associate Frappes, Fall and Flannel with #typicalwhitegirl
Instagram teaches us that if we love Starbucks, falling leaves and sweaters then we must be a #typicalwhitegirl. We attribute our love for these things as a love to be #basic, when in reality they are a part of our complex personality. Culture tries to take the credit for our love for crisp air and pumpkin delights, but we do not have to give the credit to the culture. Maybe, just maybe, we like these things because, well, we like them.
"Since you have died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to this world, do you still submit to its rules?" (Colossians 2:20)
3. We are Lazy
Sometimes, it's just easier to follow the well-worm paths of other #typicalwhitegirls and not stand proud in our unique identities. It's easier to caption a photo with "Just a #typicalwhitegirl enjoying #pumpkinspicelattes and #fall" than to put ourselves out there and express something a bit more. If we go even deeper, it's easier to believe that we are simply #basic instead of finding out who we truly are.
Finding and expressing our identities is such a joy! Yes, it takes work, but every good thing does.
"A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." (Proverbs 13:4)
4. We Really Believe That There's Nothing Special About Us
This reason saddens me the most. It makes me want to go and remind each girl that she is unique, beautiful and loved by God. Culture keeps encouraging us that is it okay to be #basic, sucking us into a spiral of normality and complacency. It creates a safe place to be typical, but it is not a joyful place.
But God made us with a specific purpose and snowflake-like personality. He made us to stand out, take a stand, and, most of all, stand upon His love. Only when we live this way will we find joy in being us.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)
So to all of the girls who think that they're just a #typicalwhitegirl, living the #basic life, remember that God created you with a mission, a personality and an identity that's far from typical. It's beautiful.
Instead of #typcialwhitegirl, how about #DaughterOfGod? How about #ProudToBeMe?