Posts Tagged ‘opinions’

People will stare.  Make it worth their while!

People will stare.
Make it worth their while!

Many people get caught up on image and in the discussion about what’s an appropriate image to put forth. Interestingly, I’ve been battling this for years and now that I’m older, I still get questions, have discussions, albeit short ones because of having less patience, and because I think, or rather hope, views and opinions on the topic are shifting. However, as I say that, I realize that in many ways, the opinion on image, in this case, of a person – skin, hair, clothing, walk, manner of speech, etc. – is not shifting in a positive way. Thanks to trolls and a-holes on social media, for example, some of the opinions about other people’s and even some self-image thoughts are negative and downright horrible. But such is life and mean people are everywhere so I won’t give any more credit to them and move on.

So what do you think? Does image matter? If so, why? If not, why not?

I think that image matters but to specific groups in various ways. What does that mean?

For marginalized or groups discriminated against: Image matters to them (maybe more?) because many in that group may feel as if they should portray the perfect image of success, or mimic the style of those belonging to the majority group or those in a position of power, to avoid being marginalized. I don’t think this eliminates the discrimination. But I think it covers it up on most days. Of course this image matching business isn’t always a conscious act. It may be something as simple as following the instructions that many of us repeatedly heard under the label of, “dress for success”. These seemingly safe things may include shaving daily, not having locs, natural hair, not having certain hairstyles if you’re a man or certain styles if you’re a woman, wearing skirts and high heels to be professional, etc.

See anything wrong with these suggestions? If not, let me elaborate.

Not all men can shave on a daily basis. Some need a beard to avoid having skin issues due to the type of facial hair grown. Also, not all religions encourage you to shave the hair off your body. Also, having and loving the hair that grows out of your head which is attached to that body you spend so much time on and in, is never a bad thing. Some may choose to apply relaxers, and color and all types of chemicals to change its appearance but if that’s not what someone is comfortable with, then it should not be encouraged. Oh, and don’t think I’m only talking about minorities. Some of you, my white friends and foes, know y’all have issues too. Sadly, too often, many assume that when I say “natural” in relation to hair types, I’m only addressing minorities. Hey, don’t look at me, you know white girls and boys get stuff done too. And yes, they too should love whatever it is that grows naturally out of their heads!

Lastly, the skirt and heels thing. Again, if that’s really your choice of clothing, wear it. Rock it like the sexy person that you are! But if it’s not, don’t go around telling those who prefer a different shoe style or trousers, that as a woman, you won’t succeed in life. That’s hogwash. Not to mention that many women have some seriously detrimental foot and leg issues from years of wearing high heels that any podiatrist will tell you is not healthy. You can be presentable and respectable in any type of clothing. Well, except maybe in a g-string on a stripper pole. But that’s a different act for a different fun-day.

Clothing, style, and attitude is what you make it. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that talented individuals who contribute positively to society cannot be unique and still succeed. Be yourself. Do you have to be clean, presentable or professional, and (should) have proper hygiene in your workplace? Of course. Do you have to dress out of your comfort zone or spend all of your disposable income to portray a certain image? No. Brooks Brothers makes money off your back. Literally.

Kalu Rinpoche

Observations – Part 1

I’ve been seeing tons of social media posts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over the weekend and today, in particular as today is (for most) the official holiday to celebrate his birthday. This is typically a good thing in my opinion (side note: It’s my blog so most of the opinions expressed herein are my own. If they aren’t I will clearly state it, as I did in “Opinions are like Assholes”.) as many in the U.S. and some parts of the world still do not understand the extent to which his actions and beliefs shaped U.S. history. Yes, you read that right, he helped to shape U.S. history and not just black history or African American history. As I continued to read the posts and messages from certain people/accounts, as well as the comments in response to certain articles or posts, my brain started whirring which means that a poem or something similar is about to start brewing. And to be fair, I think I’ve always had these opinions, I just may not have shared them out loud so here goes! My observations at this time as I continue to be brave:

Good:   I see many Facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr and vine accounts posting these wonderful phrases, statements, beliefs and catch phrases about a remarkable leader, about being a better person, about Dr. King’s legacy, etc.

Bad:       These are the same accounts (people) that at times, post some seriously effed up ratchet-like stuff that do nothing but drag society’s low points even lower during the rest of the year. Well to be fair, they post some nice shit about religion around Easter.

Good:   Some minorities blame some white people for not being more open or receptive to occasions like this or for not knowing all of U.S. history, and more about the contributions made by minorities in this country.

Bad:       Some minorities have NO clue about their own damn history while some continuously make fun of their own history, or go so far as to undersell its importance and contributions.

Good:   Not all white people are racist, prejudiced assholes.

Bad:       Several white people are racist, prejudiced assholes.

Good:   I can avoid assholes who are racist and prejudiced by not interacting with them, or blocking, unfriending or changing the channel, etc. if they’re on social media or the news.

Bad:       I can’t avoid assholes at work, in some social settings, or when they’re splashed all over the news, so I have to learn how to control my temper.

Good:   I can change my habits to support my core beliefs, values, etc. by determining where to spend my hard-earned money, where to boycott, what to watch, which earworm is acceptable, etc.

Bad:       I can’t control the management of some companies, what society throws money at to make it popular, etc.

Good:   I have the opportunity to educate myself on companies, legal practices, history, etc. so that I can make informed decisions about where to shop, etc.

Bad:       It’s sometimes difficult to get some couch protestors to actually DO something about horrible companies, legal practices, etc. other than post messages on social media pages.

Good:   If all someone wants to do is post messages on social media, find a way to use that! Chances are, if that’s their major avenue to interacting with others, they’ve already built a decent networking and/or word of mouth base. Maybe someone who is less couch-potato-like and sees their posts will be the ones to actually do something.

As you see, this list and my thoughts could continue for quite a few pages.  So what else should be added? What are your thoughts?

Pretty harsh title, I know. But it’s deserving. I recently had a discussion with a colleague who made an infuriating statement to me but because it was at work, I had to let it go. I was able to respond, rather mildly compared to how I was really feeling, but it was all I could do at work. I’ll setup the story/premise and you can decide if I’m being too harsh.

Background: Conversation is about the doctor at a fertility clinic who used his semen to impregnate women. The fathers then found out that they’re not the biological father, mothers are devastated and well, the kids are unfortunately caught up in this mess.

Me: Wow, that’s crazy and sad!

Asshole: If people would just have kids the old fashioned way kids are supposed to be had, this wouldn’t happen.

Me: (immediately pissed off) That comment ignores some real issues like those who are physically unable to have children – some of the people who want children and would be great parents but can’t, for whatever reason, have them your so-called old fashioned way.

Asshole: Well, then they don’t need children. Maybe this fertility approach causes other issues like crazy sicknesses, maybe even those gender issues and people who think they’re gay and…

Me: (interrupting before I throw a chair) What?!?! That’s insane to say or imply!! (trying to stifle anger)

Assh0le: Well, in the Bible…

Me: (interrupting again) Gotta go. It’s time for my meeting.

This, along with those who still buy in to shit like reality tv craziness mirroring real life,  or those who claim that having children in a way that is different than when a man and a woman conceive a baby is the possible cause of that baby having gender issues or being gay, etc. make me sad and very angry at the lack of empathy, and pure ignorance. Some days I want to fight ignorance more, or do more than a well-placed glare, but sometimes it’s not the right place or time and it leaves me seething and well, writing.

How do we make the world a better place when I have to keep my opinions in check due to place and time appropriateness? Well, I guess like my title implies, my opinion ain’t that different from another person’s opinion and we all have them, right?