For my Anthropology class we had to write about our social identities for homework, and I thought that it was something worth sharing about here.
My social identity has been constructed by society and revolves around my family and upbringing. I grew up in Calabasas, California, home of Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, and Drake. And while that may seem cool and exciting to some people, it is hell for me. Los Angeles is a whole new world to Kansans. People are beautiful, yes, but all of that beauty covers the judgmental, stuck-up, insensitive, narcissistic, and materialistic people. When you walk around Calabasas, you can accurately guess how much money people have based on what they’re wearing, what car keys they’re holding, and where they grocery shop. These things bother me endlessly. As someone that strives to be known for what comes out of their mouth, not the lipstick on it, I cannot stand my hometown. While there were few exciting social events, like having a lesbian couple win homecoming queens, the bad tends to outweigh the good. The way I am identified by other people bothers me. People in college assume I am ‘rich’, whatever that is supposed to mean. Wealth is in the eye of the beholder, to you it may mean living where I do, to me it means being rich in experiences, culture and love. That is what I want to be known for, not that Justin Bieber almost hit me with his car. Life is so much more important than this identity brought onto me by society. They see me as a spoiled, rich girl who has Daddy pay for everything and has enough money for a Mercedes. I identify as a hard-working, lucky girl who is fortunate enough to have the opportunities she has and parents who are in the financial position and value her education to pay for it. And because of that, I am eternally grateful and blessed. This is how I view myself, but when will society open their eyes to see the real version?
That was what I submitted to my teacher, and it is painfully true. I wish that people didn’t label me a certain way because of where I’m from and will continue to fight this identifier, probably for the remainder of my youth. There have been people that only became interested in what I had to say because of where I said I was from. While that may be a good conversation starter to make friends, do I really want to be friends with people who only care about “celebrities” that live in my hometown?
I challenge you to fight your social identifier, and start making people see your own identification of yourself. You might be surprised what the results are…