The other day, someone made a misguided judgement about me. They didn’t know me that well because we had only met once or twice. When I heard it, I just let it slide off my shoulders and laughed it off. Turning serious matters into jokes is my coping mechanism. It helps to lessen the intensity of how I feel about it.
It’s been a week since that happened, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was clearly a judgement based on my culture and my background. To put in clearer terms, I was stereotyped based on how I looked, and I didn’t like it. I am upset about it.
Now, humans aren’t strangers to stereotyping. It’s comforting to put people into certain boxes so we can organize the world around us. It’s an subconscious thing that we’ve all picked up on. The old adage of “racism isn’t inherent, it’s taught” applies, because as babies, we never cared this much about judging people based on how they looked. It’s purely taught by the environment that we grew up in.
Growing up, people have always judged me a certain way, and it always bothered me. Their judgment was absolutely correct, but it bothered me that other people could get a read on me without even knowing who I truly am. I couldn’t control how they thought about me. I tried my absolute hardest to shake off that label because I wanted people to get to know who I was as a person.
To be honest, it did me more harm than good. Why would I try to act the exact opposite just to prove to people that their judgement of me is false? Why did I care so much about what other people thought of me? So what if their preconceived notion of me is correct? Is it necessarily a bad thing? Is it something to be embarrassed to be about? These were all the questions that were running through my head the past couple of days.
Rather than being ashamed of the label that was put upon me, I have now decided to wear it with pride. I can’t control how people think of me, and sometimes, people will judge me solely on how I look, and that’s okay. I can’t please everybody.
If you have a preconceived notion about me, that’s okay, go ahead and believe in it. I’m not going to care about what other people think about me anymore. You can judge me by my cover, but I think it would be more rewarding if you read the book as well.
You might be surprised because there is definitely more than what meets the eye.