A few weeks ago, I posted an article titled, “On Building an Identity as Female Feminist.” In it, I wrote about societal pressures to express our identity through our appearance. It’s hard not to succumb to these pressures. I defined our identities as our personal views on the world around us. Our identities are what makes us unique.
Towards the end of the article, I suggested that there are other ways to build an identity. Even if it may be hard, we can express ourselves through more than our appearance. So, here is my follow up, on how to build an identity in our superficial culture.
In our consumerist culture, we are so focused on external appearance. People make snap judgments based on how a person looks. You know, they say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but everybody does.
It’s hard to express yourself, to build an identity when everybody’s making these judgements. The easiest way to build an identity is through our looks. By the way we dress, how we do our makeup, the types of accessories we wear we are telling people a little bit about ourselves. Maybe we’re hoping they’ll want to know more, or maybe we’re hoping they’ll leave us alone.
I’m not a big fan of putting so much effort into how I look. I’ve always found it superficial and fairly pointless. So, I’ve looked to other means to express myself.
I think a big part of my writing is to do that. It gets out everything that’s going on in my mind and shares it with the world. It’s not as flashy as expressing myself through my appearance. Instead, it’s a mere invitation to people who want to learn more about me.
My blog and my vlog are another big part of expressing myself. I try not hold back at all in them to be as genuine as possible. This way, when people read my posts or watch my videos they are experiencing me. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting down for a cup of coffee with me, but it’s my identity. It’s how I choose to present myself, just like the clothes I choose to wear.
So, to everybody wondering how to show the world who you are, and feeling pressured to do it through your appearance, there are other ways. You need to figure them out for yourself, but here’s a few ideas:
• Write a blog on a topic that you love.
• Express yourself through your social media accounts, be it Twitter or Instagram. Don’t hold back.
• Share your art (writing, music, drawing, etc.) with the world. Be it through the Internet or the actual, real world (scary, I know).
• Start or join an organization, either through your school or just your community. The website, Meetup, is great for this. Gather with other people who share your interests.
• Speak your mind in social gatherings. Don’t be afraid to say who you are and what you believe in. Don’t shy away from debates; just learn not to take it personally when people don’t agree. The amazing part about your identity is that it’s completely unique! So, of course, some people won’t see eye to eye with you.
Some of these ways aren’t as obvious as the appearance approach, but that’s why they’re more meaningful.
We need identities because we need human connection. How we connect is by sharing who we are and being as genuine as possible. Sharing our identities is how our world can join together and discover everything each individual has to offer.
Let’s start right here. It’s Two Way Hump Day and that’s all about sharing with each other and joining in a discussion. So, my question is:
What makes you unique? How would you define your identity and how do you show it to others?
Answer in the comments below, write your own post and tag it Two Way Hump Day, or tweet @oshitbritt.