Our Obsession With Labels: Why Is It So Backwards?

It’s almost the end of 2017 and here we are fuming over labels. You know, back in the early 90’s  when we spoke about labels it was all about the hottest fashion trends. The world’s most sought out fashion designer, Gianni Versace was taking the world by storm turning the most unfashionable people like Courtney Love into an overnight sensation by simply wearing one of his designs. Now, when we speak of labels I feel like we’re turning people into mannequins where we either can praise them, insult them, or ignore them.

We are a society that once upon a time ignored the sticks and stones thrown us. Now we’re picking them up fighting with them simply because we feel justified. And if we’re right then the other side is automatically wrong, and zeroing on them simply because they can. From changing the symbol of the handicapped parking sign simply because someone thought it implied that the entire disability was being represented wrong, to using the word inspirational, and to most recently not using the term special education.

My question is, why is so backward?  Why are we more concerned with titles, and what signs represent or don’t represent us? In my opinion, we have consciously swapped out general descriptive words and used them as labels simply because it’s easier to assume about someone rather than learn from someone. My personal options about labels are simply this labels only affect you if you let them stop you. I also strongly believe that the only labels we should answer or listen to are the ones we’re putting upon ourselves.

Labels, in my opinion, have gone from being simple descriptive words in describing something or someone to shields we hide behind simply because we don’t want to go to battle with what challenges us. I say, go toe-to-toe with life. There are will be many battles in your life, and on occasion, some of those very battles will turn into wars of survival. Labels can only affect you if you let them stop you.

Your labels don’t stick with me they become like air. They may touch me briefly, but they don’t stick to me. They don’t quell my desire to overcome, instead, they fuel me. So sound your horns of injustice. I am going to continue to look forward.

Jessica Niziolek

Jessica is the founder of and writes for The Abler - a blog that deals with topics with far too much stigma, and not enough education or knowledge. She is an advocate for the disability community. Jessica is also a contributing writer for MEDIUM.COM. Lastly, she is a coffee and chocolate junkie who loves heavy metal and rock music.

Leave a Reply