Label You, Not Me

Labels are a popular topic on social media, especially in places like Tumblr that preach about not letting labels define you (ironically, while tossing them about like candy). Personally, I think it’s fine if you want to refer to yourself as something and label yourself, but not a good idea to let other people do it. Why? Well, that should be obvious. You get situations like what happened to me. And that’s a light example, compared to most of the things I’ve had said about me, both behind my back and to my face.

It’s funny how we can know what someone says about us isn’t true, but it can still bother us. Maybe because such people have the audacity to tell lies in the first place. Really, I don’t know what I expected from someone with that blog URL. That really should’ve make it obvious the person behind that blog is the type to tell lies and make false accusations.

The reason this comes to mind is out of everything I’ve ever been called, why am I treating “nostalgic” like a crisis? Or “blind”? Or “biased”? Or even “hater”? First of all, I am blind anyway. That’s why I wear eyeglasses. I have been called racial slurs before. Kindergartners have outdone that person when it comes to insults and I’m talking about back when I was one.

I’ve mentioned at least once before I like making lists. So, I’m going to do just that. Let’s go down the list of “nostalgic, blind, biased hater” and see how far we get.

Nostalgic

Let’s see. I saw Zootopia back in March and Try Everything is in my playlist. I saw The Jungle Book in April and the very awesome remix of The Bare Necessities is also in said playlist. Other movies I’m looking forward to are Storks and the new Disney Princess movie, Moana. And let’s not forget I enjoyed Inside Out, Big Hero 6, and…oh, yeah. I’m obsessed with Frozen and Frozen Fever. Did I mention those last two are actually hated so much, anyone who likes them is essentially deemed to not have a brain of their own? I’m also planning to watch Disney’s new show, Elena of Avalor,¬†when it’s released. That’ll be the first show I’ve watched regularly on Disney Junior.

Blind

I wear eyeglasses, so physically, I am blind. What am I supposed to do about that? Talk to my genetics. Or my eyeballs. Whichever. Non-physically? You know what? I wish I was blind! Then, I wouldn’t see and be scarred by even half the nonsense I’ve dealt with over my life. Maybe being blind would’ve helped me deal with abuse and bullying better by virtue of not knowing it was happening. They do say ignorance is bliss, after all.

Biased

I’ve already talked about how deeming whoever doesn’t think like you is biased in itself, so I don’t need to delve much into this one. Let me sum it up: they’re called preferences. Just like how I think blue is a nicer color than pink. If we go with this “you only like something better because you grew up with it” logic (and I’ve already explained the fallacy in that regarding myself too!), I should despise blue and adore pink. But I don’t. I like pink, but it’s definitely not my favorite color and I do think blue is nicer. Make it blue!

Hater

I yell. I’m hot-headed. I will never deny that. Hateful, however? Hmm. I have an idea. Go talk to my best friend and ask her how hateful I am. Talk to my boyfriend too. Also, talk to the kids I look after. You can even talk to some of my family members. I do hate some people, obviously, and I hate some things, like how violence exists. I’ve said before I’m a cynic. And yes, this is an interesting choice of an insult. You’d think a hater wouldn’t have loved ones, yet I do. In fact, one of those loved ones is my abuser, who I’ve tried numerous times to reconcile with and the attempts keep falling out. So much for that.

Wouldn’t you know? None of these insults are true. Of course, I knew that, but the person who throws them doesn’t know that about me or anyone else these words have been thrown at. And how could they? It really does stun me how after all the nonsense I’ve dealt with, I can still be shocked people make snap judgements like that. Then again, I do it too, hence why I’ve been trying to teach myself not to do that. It’s harder than it seems, but if I weren’t trying, I wouldn’t write posts like these.

It will never sit well with me someone could tell lies about and falsely accuse me of things with no repercussions, but at the same time, it’s another thing I’m used to. My bullies got away with their actions, my abuser got away with hers, so why wouldn’t someone who tells lies about me on the internet, a place of complete anonymity if one allows, get away with their actions as well?

Plus, there’s the simple fact someone will always hate someone else and have trash to say. There’s nothing that can ever be done about that.

Who’s Biased?

There is something that really nags me when someone claims a person is biased or blinded by nostalgia because they don’t like a certain thing. That’s a biased view within itself!

First off, it suggests everyone should like something and that’s completely unrealistic. There is nothing that’s liked by absolutely everyone. People who do like the same thing may not like it for the same reason(s). For example, one reason I adore Frozen is I strongly relate to both Elsa and Anna. However, some people who like Frozen don’t relate to Elsa and Anna, but like them as the characters they are.

Another problem with the idea that nostalgia creates biases and blindness is it suggests the only reason someone would not like something is liking its previous version(s). This isolates people who like both the old and new, and completely ignores people who dislike the new version without ever having seen the old. How does it make it sense to deem someone biased for disliking a new form of something when their first experience with it is the new form?

This idea also suggests people don’t ever complain about things they like and I’d expect anyone old enough to browse the internet unsupervised to know that is a huge lie. In life, people complain about their families, their friends, their job, their school, and other aspects of their lives, yet they may still be very happy with those aspects. To use Frozen again as an example, a complaint of the film I’ve had since I first saw it is why the trolls erased Anna’s memory. In spite of that, and few others I have about the film, I still very much adore it. Yet there are some people who believe if you have so much as a single complaint, you hate whatever it is you’re talking about.

Speaking of complaining, I feel there’s also a hypocrisy with the “nostalgic and biased” crowd. Some of them will tell others to stop complaining about new things, but make complaints about those very new things themselves. While it’s likely an impulsive oversight, I can’t help feeling there’s an aura of arrogance or superiority there. They are allowed to complain, but no one else is. It’s perplexing because it seems they do understand you can like something and still have your grievances with it, however small, but don’t accept any complaints except their own and those they agree with.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, with the idea nostalgia makes blind and biased is it suggests the previous version of a work never received complaints and criticism. I have never found that to be true. I have seen criticism of works that appear almost universally loved such as The Lion King and The Incredibles. The fact is nothing – absolutely nothing – is exempt from criticism.

I’ll use a different example: Winx Club, which I linked to above. Some complaints I heard long before its fourth season were:

  • The girls being referred to as “slutty” or that the show teaches young girls to be “whores”
  • That the show encourages anorexia because the girls are too thin
  • That the girls are boy-crazy (this is one I do agree with) and the show teaches young girls they must have a boyfriend
  • That one of the main relationships was toxic (true), although it was often argued the same relationship was the most realistic
  • The girls’ bodies and faces are nearly identical (also true)

Yet somehow, I never heard those viewpoints considered biased or the people who made them blinded by nostalgia. They were argued against, but never did nostalgia come up. Since these complaints were made about the first three seasons, not just one, it definitely could’ve, but it never did. On the other hand, any complaint about the newer seasons? Must be made because of nostalgia, even if the person making the complaint has never seen the early seasons or didn’t grow up with the show. The only exception to the rule are the people who make this accusation. Those who accuse others of biased and blinded from nostalgia are allowed to make any complaints they please.

Personally, I think generalizing everyone who doesn’t think the way you do is a lot more biased than nostalgia could ever be, if it is at all. What is more biased than saying, “You don’t think like me, therefore you must be blind and biased”?