Gosh I’m good to you, two posts in one day but this was something I really needed to write this post while it was still relevant!
We humans love being able to put a label on things. We love putting people in to categories or perfectly defined boxes and we hate any form of ambiguity. We are species that loves and needs certainty and as someone that suffers from anxiety, I am no different. While this attitude might give us the certainty that we crave, it’s damaging in as many ways. From a young age we force people to decide exactly what label they are, female or male, gay or straight. However if your not ready to label yourself fear not, as guaranteed that society will try it’s best to do so, sing the label threaded ropes to bind you. So how isolating must it feel when you don’t fit the conventional labels, when your a little bit different, when your yourself.
Our love of labels is the reason that bisexuality or transgender individuals are often treated with such disgust, mistrust and misjudgement as our black and white attitude leads us to misunderstand their situation. It’s why one simple, basic comment can lead to a whole load of speculation, news coverage and even prejudice. This is precisely what happened this week when Harry Styles of One Direction made a passing, almost pointless comment and yet it’s a comment that is loaded and that shows the slow generational change that is taking place. It’s a comment and an attitude that I find exciting, a generation that really is diverse, open minded and kind.
What was that comment I can practically here you shouting? What did he say that could have such a profound and controversial impact? Well, hold on to the end of your seats because it’s a good un’.
Whilst being interviewed with bandmate Liam Payne, both lads were asked the familiar and tedious question of what they look for in a partner? Trying to be quick witted and clever, Liam replied “female”. Yet before he had a chance to elaborate on the qualities he wanted of said female and almost as an automatic response, Harry replied that his partner being female simply wasn’t “that important”. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. The internet went in to complete rumour overkill as thousands discussed his sexuality once again and as thousands tried to fit him in to one of the narrow sexuality labeled boxes. Of course this has recently been a reoccurring theme and it’s something that comes with the territory, everyone from Obama to Ryan Gosling has had their sexuality questioned at some point and I’m pretty sure you know you’ve made it when that debate happens. Yet Harry’s causal response to the subject demonstrate the change in attitude among many young people.
Only in July Harry was asked to define his sexuality and refused to give a concrete answer, stating that he “didn’t think he was bisexual”. This raging debate and conversation come only a few months after Hunger Games actor James Hutcherson made similar remarks, sating that he was “mostly straight.” Hutcherson, who is a gay rights activist and is currently involved with campaigning group Straight But Not Narrow, also added that while he was currently attracted to women “in a f**king year I could meet a guy and be like “woah I’m attracted to this person””. These comments represent a general change in attitude in the UK as millions of young people embrace a more liberal attitude towards life.
While these are only two of our thousands of celebrities, it is notable that they are all of a similar age. Their attitude is refreshing, as it suggests that the future could be a better place for people of all labels, boxes and those of none. A world where everyone is a little bit more equal. By refusing to define themselves in to narrow, damaging labels, they are also moving the debate from image and toward personality. Refusing to set themselves a “type” and instead allowing themselves to fall in love with the person, the personality.
There are a million different reasons as to what we are seeing this change happening now with this generation and that is another article in itself, but one thing is certain- these young people represent the future of the world and looks like it will be a more liberal, kinder and more accepting place. A world where more people are happy, where more people can be themselves. A world in which I want to live. So join me and define yourself using on simple word.
Give yourself a label instead of allowing society to force one upon you.
My label- Kay.