I wrote this what feels like a million years ago (I wrote it originally during the London 2012 Olympics in fact), but I think this message rings so loud and so true right now. The amazing Lady Gaga performed at the Superbowl and her message was all about inclusion. We should all feel that we are included and part of the world regardless of our appearance, nationality or religious belief.
A few days ago I tweeted about how fed up I am of people making me feel like a freak because I don't dress like everyone else. I've been thinking about it a lot (one of my many curses is that I over-think EVERYTHING) and I think that at this particular time for people to react the way they are is completely and utterly inappropriate. We watch in awe and fascination as paralympians win medal after medal and break record after record, and we realise that to use the word 'disabled' is a complete and utter misnomer - it's society that disables them. Now, I'm not comparing myself to someone with a disability as clearly they have many more obstacles to overcome, but being 'disabled' by society is something we can all relate to.
How many times are we told 'be yourself'? Clearly we are only allowed to be ourselves when that self fits the mould which is seen as acceptable by general society. How can we be ourselves when our individuality is completely and utterly stifled by those who encourage us to be individual? Of course, we have evolved to be a judgemental species and that will never change, but we are now a multi-racial, multi-cultural country, shouldn't we be embracing all the individuality that has to offer?
It's taken me a very long time to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I guarantee there will be many a time when I feel less than comfortable, but I am finally accepting myself and I refuse to have that taken away from me.
Why does my pseudo 50's/60's appearance cause people to assume that I'm stupid? Maybe it's not just that, perhaps it's the fact I'm a woman? I was recently informed (when someone looked over the lunch I had made) that I couldn't possibly have made it and must have got it from the shop as I'm clearly not remotely domestic! Plus the fact that people seem to assume because I have a firm grasp on the English language and am eloquent and articulate that I can't be attractive. Someone I met after only having conversations over email told me that I couldn't be me because I was supposed to be 'short and dumpy'. OK then, so what you're saying is because I can construct a sentence I have to be ugly?
I know I have said that we are all a judgemental species and this will never change but is it not about time we stopped passing such harsh judgements on others and ourselves for that matter?
In a nut shell I am who I am - made up of lots of intricate layers of intelligence, self loathing, tattoos, make up, big hair, geekiness, domesticity, social awkwardness, depression, quirkiness, love and so much more. Take me or leave me, but don't assume you know anything about me until you make an effort to get to know me.
While I accept you will judge me don't make it obvious and don't mock me. I am human just like you.