Why I Am So Much More Than The Stereotypical Labels I Possess

by Yakira Cohen

I am not your stereotypical anything. I’m a woman who is anything but weak. I am white and have had anything but an easy life.

I am a quiet person who loves going on adventures.

I have a nose ring and wear a lot of jewelry, but I am not a stoner hippie. I am a Jewish-American who is anything but a princess.

The only accurate identification of me is that I am me, a unique individual who doesn’t give a damn about what other people think of her.

I am a woman who strives to do the best at everything she sets her mind to doing.

People have this weird fascination about labeling every little f*cking thing, and it begins before they even meet the person they seem to know so well just by looking at him or her.

Judgment is cast by everyone in some way, shape or form. That’s just what happens in society.

While some of those labels come from observation, many of them stem from the f*cked up phenomenon known as stereotyping.

Judgment is a truly terrible thing and, unfortunately, we can’t prevent individuals from creating their own pretenses about others.

However, we can change the way groups of people view other groups of people.

Stereotyping spreads based on instruction. Whether it be at home, at school or in the community, people learn false pretenses based on the culture in which they are immersed.

Those stereotypes can be about gender, sexuality, race, religion, hobbies, etc.

Quite honestly, you can create a stereotype about just about anything.

Just by going on hearsay, many people seem to think they can figure out people's intentions, beliefs, how smart they are and how far they will go in life.

Well, here’s the thing: That is 100 percent bullsh*t. It’s why we have such terrible discrimination and it's why people aren’t as compassionate toward each other as they should be.

Then there’s the situation when you can’t be "properly identified." This is when people like to tell you you’re different from your stereotype.

Sorry to disappoint, assh*le, but this is why you don’t generalize someone before you even get to know him or her.

Maybe it’s just me, but I sure as hell do not want to be told I’m the same as another person or that I represent a stereotype.

Yes, we all have similar traits as others because that’s how friendships and relationships are built.

But, that doesn’t mean people who are friends or lovers are the same exact people.

My physical characteristics, beliefs and background are all really important factors that play into my personality, but they do not define me.

I am the result of the recipe that combines time, experiences and dreams with my attributes, principles and personal history.

If you want to assume something about me, then go ahead and f*ck off because I don’t need that negativity in my life (and FYI, that makes me self-assured, not an assh*le).

Maybe some people don’t realize this, but if you suppress the negative assumptions you make about a person or group of people, you may actually develop a — wait for it — friendship. I know, crazy sh*t, right?

But that’s what happens when you actually talk to people.

I refuse to let anyone or any circumstance confine me into a little box.

My abilities are limitless, my attributes are endless and the story of my life is impossible to understand just by brief meetings or distant observations.

No matter what generalizations you may hear about women, races, tattooed and pierced individuals, or any other kind of demographic, I can assure you, information doesn’t qualify as a sound judgment about a person.

If you want to judge me at all, judge me on my ability to handle problems; judge me on my work ethic; judge me on my compassion; judge me on my integrity, but do not, by any means, judge me on stereotypical assumptions.