It has come to my attention that in a time and place in which our society prides itself in individualism and acceptance of a variety of perspectives and lifestyles, we may actually not have come close to universal open-mindedness as we would like to think.
I can think of two primary examples in which I find myself incredibly frustrated with my generation’s inability to refrain from grousing at every given opportunity: 1) YouTube videos/controversial social media posts/journalism articles and 2) when one group of people hears that another group’s viewpoint is the opposite of theirs, and thus over-sensationalized generalizations are made by both parties about the opposing parties.
You’ve heard them all: Those over-zealous Christian homophobes. Those weed-smoking hippies. Those crazed feminazis. Those uneducated conservative/liberals. Those snotty, rich white people. Racial slurs. All terribly ignorant statements made all across the board.
I imagine that if I was some sort of popular columnist or something and this was to end up on a Buzzfeed-type website, there would STILL be commenters (albeit mostly inbetweeners with poor grammar skills) calling me out for calling out people who unnecessarily call out EVERYTHING. Well guzzle down your Hatorade because here’s what I think on three trending topics:
WHAT IS LOVE? (BABY DON’T HURT ME)
A few weeks ago, Ireland became the first country to vote in support of same-sex marriage by popular consensus. This next part may make me unpopular among certain groups, but this news made me happy. The idea that the large majority of a country voted in favor of NOT interfering with two people’s definition or exhibition of love is one that warms even the wintery-est of hearts.
But that’s not my point.
Some (definitely not all) critics of those who support same-sex marriage feel the need to make uneducated assessments like “Oh you support that, so you must be gay…” Umm…I support providing aid to orphans in third-world countries; doesn’t mean I am one. Likewise, some supporters automatically deem non-supporters as haters. There is a myriad of reasons why someone might not support it – religious reasons, the technical definition of “marriage,” just generally not being sure about it, etc. Accusing someone of being close-minded straight away actually says a lot more about the amount of space there is in your so-called “open mind.”
How grateful I am that we live in a society where the corset has become an outdated (and inhumane) fashion staple and since replaced by Spanx. I too smile upon those who blast fashion companies’ appalling use of Photoshop and the use of perhaps “untraditional” figures used for international beauty and cosmetics marketing.
I recently came across an article about plus-sized model Tess Holliday’s impressive strides in the fashion industry. Cool read. Until I scrolled through the comment section…
“Why r we normalising obesity???”
“F—k the haters, she’s beautiful!”
“OMG i cant believe how horrible some people rrr….its her body…”
“This can’t be healthy.”
The following commentary has nothing to do with Tess Holiday, necessarily: I’m all for loving your body and yes, fat/skinny shaming sucks. Yes, a person’s health and appearance is their own matter, and none of us (unless you’re a doctor) has the right to determine if someone is eating too much or not enough. But healthy body image does not equate you know, a healthy body. You can be 50 pounds or 500 pounds and love yourself, but it won’t mean much if you’re not around long enough to enjoy it. And expressing concern for someone’s health related to this does not deem that person a “hater” or a “body-shamer.” It makes you an overly sensitive critic who gets weird joy out of criticizing what you perceive are critics’ critiques.
I DON’T HAVE A CREATIVE TITLE FOR THIS SECTION ABOUT CAITLYN JENNER
Quite frankly, who gives a crap that Caitlyn Jenner won some ESPN award over someone else? The fact that you place more importance and frustration over that says A LOT about how you put less weight on things that actually matter…like say, I don’t know, sex trafficking?
Also to those who have been telling me lately, “Oh, I’m so sorry that Bruce Jenner took your name!” a) Caitlyn Jenner can do whatever she wants to her body and name, and b) it’s just a name, not my entire identity and if I ever become a successful writer, I always planned to use a pseudonym anyway.
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS THAT MAY WARRANT SOME HATORADE
– I think the millennial generation places too much glorification on staying in, gorging on pizza and not wearing pants. WHY???
– ^Ditto for sleeping in until 6pm. Seriously, why do we applaud lack of productivity?
– No me gusta man-buns, but it’s your hair so do whatever you want. I sure do.
– I think the idea of two friends jointly raising a child is a beautiful thing. Who says “family” has to adhere to a “traditional” equation?
– HOW DARE YOU rudely feign-cough when strolling past a smoker. How would you like it if I somehow feigned having a quadruple-bypass while you chow down on your quadruple beef chili-burger?
OK so 1,000 words later and this is my shtick: No one is going to be happy. You or someone else will always be too self-righteous, too shameless, too serious or not serious enough, too liberal, too conservative, too moderate, too rich, too poor, too accepting, and the beat goes on and on and on and on…
How dare you have an opinion! How dare you deviate even the slightest from popular consensus! To which I say, how dare you not?