Have you ever been talking to someone and tried to explain another person to them they may not know, only for them to reply with “Oh yeah, that girl….?”
For example, when I am trying to explain to my grandpa who Kim Kardashian is, (because honestly, why would an 80 something year old man know about Kim) only for him to reply with, “Oh I know her. That girl with the huge butt always taking pictures of herself right?” Yes grandpa. That would be her.
We label people in different ways unintentionally and without even thinking. Sometimes it is simple labels that are used. That girl/boy with the long brown hair, that girl/boy that sits behind me in math, etc. Labels are sometimes harmless ways to describe people, while other times that may become an identity.
This is what happened to me. I struggled with a severe case of anorexia from the time I was 13. Before the disorder, I was a spunky and happy person with many friends and no serious life troubles. My biggest worries were making it to soccer practice on time and making sure to keep my straight A grades. Peers and classmates I might have been referred to me as “That girl that is always uptight, that tall girl, that girl who lets me copy her homework…” Adults might have categorized me as “That girl who is such a goody-to-shoes….” Nobody referred to me as that anorexic girl.
In 8th grade, when my eating disorder started spiraling me out of control, my identity in other peoples eyes vastly changed. I was no longer Shannon. I was the anorexic. The weird girl. The girl who doesn’t eat. The girl who can’t do PE class. The introvert. Anything but a regular girl. I was outcasted and withdrawn from everyone. Everything I used to be was quickly forgotten.
Now that I am in a much better place health-wise, I still find myself being placed back into the outcast categories. People are still afraid of me. They don’t know what to say, how to act, what to do around me.
It hurts me. I do not want to always be known as the anorexic girl..or even the once anorexic girl. I want to go back to being Shannon.
If I were to leave the Earth today, what would I be known for. What would people remember me for? Would they remember me as being the anorexic girl, or would they remember my loyalty and caring heart, my compassion and responsibility?
My point is, when somebody is referring or describing me…which “that girl” would I be? I want to make sure people remember the good and honest things about me instead of the stereotyped I have been placed into.
When you are thinking about other people, take a step back and make sure you are all-encompassing. Do not let one negative event overshadow all others.
Tell me, what “that girl” have you been? Was it true, or a mistaken identity.