What’s a stigma anyway?
A stigma is a big bully- or rather a whole lot of big bullies. They put everyone who may seem a little different in a category and make them feel disgraceful, dirty, unwanted and self-conscious. Unfortunately, there are way too many bullies (stigmas) that exist in this world. If I could have it all my way, those bullies (stigmas) wouldn’t exist and there would just world peace and everybody would love everybody! Unfortunately, the world does not revolve around Corina and Corina’s wants so there will be no world peace… for now. Some of the most popular stigmas in our culture are focused on mental illness, homosexuality, obesity, persons of different race or culture, religion and the list goes on and on. I would love to be able to say I have never been in a situation where I have been stigmatized, but that’s just not the truth.
Too many people have been affected by all different kinds of stigmas and if you look at the people you know, you’ll probably find quite a few who have. Basically, anything that you can label is a stigma. Does that make sense? Let me try to clarify that..For example, saying things such as: She is anorexic. He is obese. She is transgender. He has depression. She is bi-polar. He is christian. She is black. He is Chinese. All of these are stigmas and labels and quite frankly, unnecessary. It’s so sad that we, the human race, feel the need to put a label on everyone. In reality, all that should matter is that we are all H U M A N. No matter what race, gender, sexuality, religion, illness or culture we are, have, or belong too we will always be connected through one similarity: being human.
When a person is a victim of a stigma, they transform. The transformation is not a good one and not one that anyone should face. They go from a whole person to a broken one. They turn into someone they feel needs fixing. They turn into someone who can’t be who they really are or act how they really feel. It’s a constant effort to cover up everything that could lead another person to believe there might be something wrong. We are so afraid to be different that we would rather spend all of the energy we have to hide who we are. It’s a shame we’re scared of what people might think of us.
So please, if you are reading this and if you have a heart, be careful the next time you talk about a delicate subject. Try to be conscious of what you’re saying and who you are talking too. Nobody likes to be labelled, despite what you may think. We know that you don’t always realize that what you are saying can be hurtful and we know that this isn’t a change that will happen overnight. But if we could all just make a little effort in paying attention to our words, we could end all stigmas.