Don't be so quick to judge

How many times have you seen someone with a peculiar style and immediately thought ‘What are they wearing? Weirdo’?

Why we should be less judgemental

It’s a very common first reaction to something we are not used to, or not fully comprehend. Being defensive when something isn’t familiar is a rather natural reaction, but applying survival skills to style and aesthetics seems a bit farfetched, doesn’t it?

I came across a post on Tumblr, someone was sharing their concern for thinking negatively when people dressed up in an unusual way only to realise that, after all, it’s completely fine! It’s their life and they are not harming anyone with their style. So, the final thought was, in fact, ‘You do you!’ but to get there they had to go through a layer of immediate criticism.

Who could blame them? I often find myself going through the same thought process. Luckily, someone else replied saying that first reaction is what society taught us to think, the second, and final, judgement is what we really think and how we approach life as individuals.

What a relief! I was getting very self-conscious about my quick judgement.

This particular Tumblr conversation made me realise the important role society and media play in shaping our view of the world. Since the early days of my generation, the Pre-Millennials, television was seen as a form of education, alongside school and family.

And the message that media would send upon us was always ‘from above’. Media were never our peers, never one of us, never ourselves. The images we learned to accept as 'norm' were of picture perfect people following the latest trends, and the Disney classic 'ugly = evil' equation.

How the tables have turned!

Now, anyone could be popular and seen as a role model, anyone has a voice and a face to inspire others. Instagram is shining light on individuals that could, quite literally, be your neighbour. Users create the message media are spreading, including non-picture perfect aesthetic and diverse style. Today, we get to see behind the photographer's lens because audience, model, and photographer, are the same person. 

My hope is that Millennials will approach media with a less naïve attitude and a more critical eye about what’s behind a picture, and that this disenchanted attitude will reflect upon everyday situations.

The ultimate goal would be to have a generation which first reaction won’t be to bring people down because of something out of the ordinary, but to celebrate diversity for its creativity. Or, in the words of RuPaul: charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

Image: via

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