I’ve been talking about my hair with a lot of people recently, because I have been travelling and meeting people a lot (as well as doing essays but lol YOLO that’s what train journeys are for right?). A lot of these conversations have revolved around the fact that I’m now different because I shaved my head and have done something that some people will never do or experience. Now, I’m “not like other girls.”
And yes, this is true, I am not like other girls because I am not like any girls because I am only like me since there is only one me, right? Which means that everyone is not like other girls.
But it’s not meant like that. It’s meant as a compliment. And I kinda don’t understand why.
This “compliment” puts down other girls, and puts me above them. The sentiment implies that there is something inherently wrong with girls, and that by being different from them I’m better. Choosing to shave my head hasn’t put me above anyone. Nothing I do puts me above people. The same applies for “not like other boys”, “not like other students”, “not like other (insert group stereotype here).” So it’s not a compliment. It’s a backhanded criticism. And it’s a sentiment that has crept into everyday thinking.
I think the idea ultimately stems from wanting to celebrate diversity and being different, which is definitely a good thing. However, this can celebrated without stereotyping everyone else and putting them down, right?
We are all different and that’s the point. No two people on the planet are exactly the same and that’s the beauty of it. We are all human which unites us, and beyond that we are all different. There shouldn’t be any categories, any stereotyping, any assumptions of anyone because if we are all different then none of those categories, stereotypes or assumptions can be true.
We are all the same, in the fact that we are all different. And we are equal in the fact that we will never be the same. Therefore, we are all united.