Labeled. Tagged. Defined.

A “label” gives information about us, right? It kinda defines us in some way or another, to a certain extent. It kinda tells the world about who we are.

Label – (n.) a small piece of paper, fabric, plastic, or similar material attached to an object and giving information about it

We are defined by both ourselves and each other, right? Our parents labeled us when we were younger because not all of us knew exactly how, or what it meant. Our friends defined us later on in life, and that’s how the rest of the school knew us.

Label – (v.) attach a label to (something)

It can be an honor to be labeled as certain things. It can be a disgrace to be labeled as other things.
It was an honor to be labeled as the king’s and queen’s little baby daughter, as if I was this prized possession that everyone wanted to be. It was an honor to be said I was beautiful as a young girl, because that’s all that really mattered to my family. It was an honor to be labeled as this naive little girl, because that meant I still had the sparkle, and the shine in my eyes.
It was a disgrace to be labeled as a tomboy, especially living in a society where gender roles were still a dominant way of thinking. It was a disgrace to be labeled as aggressive or strong, also because gender roles said a female would be otherwise. It was a disgrace to be labeled as…even just upset or sad at the wrong times, because that apparently brought shame to my family.

I didn’t get it when I was little. I still don’t get it when I think about it today, to be completely honest. I don’t get why a girl can’t be a tomboy. I don’t understand why she can’t know exactly what she wants or stand up for what she believes in. I have yet to comprehend the concept and the logical ideas behind gender roles that are still looked to, even in my day-to-day life.

I don’t get why you can’t have a big heart, or believe in some source of goodness still remains in everyone. I don’t understand why you can’t help everyone or, at least, do your best to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. I still don’t comprehend why being myself was/is such a bad thing.

When I was little, I was the quiet, shy, awkward little princess of the family. I was so sheltered that I just behaved in ways I was told to because I didn’t want to figure out what to do on my own. I didn’t want to mess up. When I was little, and as I kept growing up, I was the little girl who needed the most attention…that everyone felt sorry for because of all the health conditions I had to deal with at my young age. When I was little, it felt as if I was thought to be handicapped my entire life. I hated that feeling, I still despise it.

When I started to grow up, I started to define myself and label myself as things I truly thought I was instead of by what everyone else wanted me to be. I labeled myself as strong; I knew I’ve been through a lot as a child but I survived and took it better than my parents hoped. I labeled myself as a writer; I loved the way the words flowed out so easily onto paper even though I was still the awkward one who didn’t understand her own emotions. I labeled myself as a sister, a friend, a daughter; all things I was and still am. Today, I label myself as a photographer; photography is a passion that I hold close to heart. I label myself as an engineer major; I’m proud of it especially because I come from a medical field family. I label myself as a fighter; I know I’ve been through a lot and I’m continuing to fight my battles. I label myself as…an original.

I don’t need my parents or even my friends to label me. I’m discovering who I am as I go on with life. I’m growing and I will continue to relabel myself as I see fit but I still not wait, and I especially won’t justify others putting labels and tags on me that I don’t define with. I won’t just become what other people wish to see me be.

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