"Just because i walk like obie wan Kenobi..."

Do you ever have those moments where you look at someone and almost, kind of, sort of, judge them? I don't necessarily mean in a bad way but more that you automatically fit them into a stereotype kind of way'?

Do you ever get that feeling when you go out that someone will look at you and think that you must be this type of person or that they will put a label on you?

Well, just the other day I was sat talking to my husband, Chris, and we got on the subject of concerts. I laughed and found myself remembering my very first one. I then laughed some more and realized that the age old saying of "the older you get, the less you care about what others think and you begin to feel more content with who you are" or something to that effect, came to mind.

My first concert was Gareth Gates. For those of you who may not have heard of Gareth, he was the runner up in, I want to say, the first ever Pop Idol back in the UK. He was cute and adorable and sang your typical pop songs. I was a teenager at the time and got sucked right in, I had pictures and magazine articles galore and was every bit the "teeny bopper" (Is that even a term anymore? :p ) Now, at the time I knew the term "teeny bopper" was aimed at teenage girls who were obsessed with bands/celebrities/guys, but I don't recall actually dwelling on it or getting upset over it. I liked Gareth Gates and I didn't care who knew. I was still young and was pretty naïve as to concern myself with what others would think of me yet.

Before I go on I feel just a little background on my sister Kelly and I may be needed so you get the full picture of where I am going with this story. Growing up, when we loved something, we LOVED something and everyone knew. Sanrio, Beanie Babies, Pokémon, Tamagotchis, Skateboarding, Drums, Guitar, you name it, if we liked it, you would hear about it! These things were 'our phases', as our family like to put it. So where are we up to, oh yes, our Gareth Gates "phase".

Our Gareth love was going strong until Kelly and I heard and saw the video for 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'... enter Good Charlotte! Oh how our Dad loved listening to the entire Good Charlotte album each morning before work. Oh how he adored our all black entire complete with MADE (Benji and Joel's clothing label) hoodies. Oh how he couldn't get enough of us singing with all our might about how you may go out on Friday night "but I'll stay in and that's alright, 'cause I have found a clique to call my own". It was probably some of our Dad's finest memories! :p I say this but Dad dropped us off and picked us up from all 3 Good Charlotte shows that we went to at the Manchester Apollo and even drove us to London, Islington, a three hour drive away from where we lived, when we were lucky enough to get tickets to see GC at a special, private gig they were doing, but I digress. Now by this time we were around 13 years old and we were more aware of stereotypes and labels. We still somewhat didn't care about them but had to deal with them. For instance, the kids at our school that were into bands such as Green Day and Blink 182, didn't fare too well with us suddenly 'thinking' we were 'punk'. Apparently wearing MADE hoodies and dressing a tad darker gave people the impression that we were trying to be 'punk'. High school...*sigh* I have to admit though that it did bother me and sometimes when going to those concerts, I got anxious about the looks people would give us and would worry that we didn't fit what a Good Charlotte fan should look or act like. However, our love for Good Charlotte continued! :)

Around this time, we had started to really get into wrestling. We felt at home whether in our GC t-shirts or Jeff Hardy t-shirts, they were similar styles and colours, and we were happy running round the garden or skating up and down the path on our Hardy Boyz skateboards. I remember our family and friends often asking if we would ever wear a dress. We looked every bit your ideal wrestling fan, but as Kelly and I have always been very talkative and happy, it seemed that the way we dressed didn't match our personalities. We sounded and acted too sweet and cute to like wrestling and were told this on numerous occasions. In addition we got the whole, "you only like wrestling because you fancy Jeff Hardy." spiel. It seemed that no matter what, there was always some form of stereotype that we didn't quite fit and as I got older it started to irritate me. In turn I found myself looking at other people and thinking about what role they fit. For example, looking at someone and thinking 'wow, she's so put together, she must be one of those gorgeous, pretty girls that was popular in high school and loves nothing but makeup and clothes' or 'ooh she wears flowers and braids in her hair, maybe she's into this band', or 'he's got long hair and a beard, he must play guitar' and so on.

As I mentioned before, I am naturally very bouncy, bubbly and an all round giddy type of person, people patronize me and will treat me like a child and therefore, it has, over time, made me almost instantly judge that person right back the minute I feel them treating me this way. In the words of Jessica Day, I want to stand up and shout from the rooftops and say yes "I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you're not a dessert person. That's just weird, and it freaks me out. And I'm sorry I don't talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn't mean I'm not smart and tough and strong." Futhermore, yes Gareth Gates was my first concert and I'm not even slightly embarrassed to say it anymore. I love Good Charlotte and I'm not an angst fueled teenager and I adore all things Disney and will happily sit and watch every Hilary Duff movie going and that doesn't make me any less of a 26 year old! :)

In just a weeks time my husband, Chris, and I are going to see Ray Lamontagne in concert and I am beyond excited, I absolutely can not wait. I only started listening to Ray when Chris began sending me his songs about a year ago. He would send them to me and tell me that he thought I would dig it and sure enough I most certainly did. This was before Chris and I got together and I loved how he would expand my horizons and make me feel like I was learning and exploring the world through artists and books that he would recommend. It's not that I wasn't open to these things before or that I didn't like his type of music, I just never really paid much attention to it. So when Chris opened my eyes to the likes of The Doors, John Prine, Johnny Cash and Ray, I was mesmerized. These artists felt what they were singing, they believed in their words, they told stories, they were unbelievable and I fell in love with them. Songs such as "Walk the line", "Hold you in my arms", and "You make me real" have a special place in my heart and were played at our wedding, they are the songs, for me, that take me back to a happy place and that now, when ever I hear them, make me smile and feel an overwhelming sense of love and contentment. I have to say though, that at first when I started listening to The Door's my parents were a little confused and couldn't see me liking them, I guess they didn't associate me with their music and once again I thought about how others perceive me.

The point to all my ramblings is that I want to make a conscious effort myself to not judge people and put them in a certain category in my mind and I implore others to really think about it and attempt to do the same. I feel that it becomes a vicious cycle, when someone does it to you, you do it to them and then more worryingly we begin to do it to ourselves. More often than not we don't even mean it in a malicious way but its still present and occurs without thinking.

Please I encourage you to; wear what you want to wear because you like it, not because it makes you fit in somewhere. Listen to what you enjoy listening too even if it means your IPod shuffles from Eminem to Frozen. Go to Nerd HQ, even if you don't think you qualify as that much of a Nerd, because you're not that into video games, but you love and support Zachary Levi!! Be who you want to be not because it adheres to a certain lifestyle but because it's you!!! :)

I'm a girl who loves floaty dresses, makeup, glitter, all things Tangled and cupcakes, I also love wrestling, kicking ass, American cars, American Literature and Workaholics! Don't try and label it or categorize it! Embrace what you love and who you are and never be ashamed of it!!!! :)

Love Lulu. xxx

p.s. I' referred to that very same Jessica Day quote in "Who's that girl?" and I simply had to use it again as it just fits and I love it! :)

 
One of our wedding centerpieces! :)


2 comments :

  1. Ah, GC! If it weren't for them I wouldn't know you (or a lot of my other friends!) lol it's crazy but they made so many friendships for me. I am beyond excited for The Madden Brothers album, though I'm hoping it doesn't mean the end of Good Charlotte. They'll always have a special place in my heart!

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  2. Aww I know exactly how you feel Meg. :) I love thinking back to the days when we were all working on that Good Charlotte book and the days when me and Kelly couldn't wait to get home from school and check your site for updates! :) I am still determined that we must give them that book one day! :) xx

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