Recently when I went to the hairdresser, we were chatting about many things. One topic led to another and we started to talk about fetes (parties). She said that she liked to go to all inclusive fetes and then asked me if I go to fetes. When I responded in the negative, her first response was “Oh! So you is a church girl!” Sigh! I told her that I have gone to an all inclusive fete before but feting was not really my thing and that yes, I also go to church but I would not label myself as a ‘church girl’.

Labelling, it exists in everything and once you are not one thing, you automatically get lumped with the opposite. But things are not so clear cut. The world does not exist only in black and white. There are other colours as well and all of them are lovely in their own right. So too are people. We are not just one thing or the other, there exists a bit of everything in us.

For instance, I was labelled ‘weird’ by some of my ex-coworkers because of my love for Japanese, Korean and Chinese drama, music, languages, manga and manhwa as well as anime since I did not fit into the conventional ‘liking’ of all things that they did albeit R&B music, action movies, reality TV and regular cartoons. Yet I did not label them ‘weird’ because they liked those things. They like what they like and that works good for them. I like what I like, good for me.

In anime, you can see how labelling can be difficult, there are no clear cut villains, the polarities are not defined because you get to see what motivated the so-called evil characters to do the things that they are doing as well as the so-called good characters who make the choices that they do; both do ‘bad’ things at times and ‘good’ things sometimes. Seriously, there is no way that a person can be just one thing or the other because it is really impossible. Sure you may exhibit qualities that are leaning to one end of the spectrum but one cannot be solely bad, good, crazy, etc.

In early cartoons and comics, characters were either plain good or bad. There were no shades of grey. But now there seems to be a move away from that, which is good. Some movies and books on the other hand, still have the labels there in terms of the personas of the characters, while some of them don’t. While the black and white characters may make for interesting movies or books, it is a bit unrealistic. Take for example the famous The Lord of the Rings. Saruman was not originally an evil person, but he aligned himself with evil because he believed that would be his best chance for survival. So circumstances can make you choose a ‘side’ so to speak but it does not mean that you should be labelled as being evil because of that choice. His intentions are good, (well for himself) and saving self is always something that one always tries to do when faced with one’s demise.

I too have been guilty of labelling so I am no different but I have realised that it is not the right thing to do. It is not right of me to force a label on someone because they do not like something or like something for that matter or that they dress a certain way or speak a certain way. It is a form of judging and we should not do that since labelling is like a precursor to being judgemental of someone. So when next you think of labelling someone just remember, you would not like to be labelled either so don’t…do…it. 😀