Kindness is the new black

Firstly, I’d like to say that this post has absolutely nothing to do with fashion, and once I started writing, I took this post to a whole other place that I wasn’t expecting, but I think it’s an important thought to share. Excuse me for what I presume will be a very blunt and straight forward rant, because I’ve been awake for far too long, and frankly, I’ve had enough.

As humans, we are capable of a range of emotions and opinions, and most of the time, we have the freedom to express our feelings, which is amazing, considering that at certain times in history, and in certain countries today, people would die as a punishment for having an opinion. Opinions motivate people to achieve great things, think along the lines of governments passing gay marriage bills, and major campaigns that influence a population (Kony 2012, political campaigns, right down to social partitions). Even something like a blog (hi) can influence your opinion on a topic, or encourage you to share your own view. All of these opportunities are great, and we are lucky that we have so many different ways of communicating the things we are passionate about, however, sometimes we can tend to take things out of hand, and draw our opinions to a public platform and shine them in a negative light.

Everyone is capable of of being unkind, and sometimes, we are without even noticing. I do it, and have become notorious for my excellence in ranting about people and the illogical things that they do. I know that I do it, and after I do, I regret saying some of the things that I said. Why? Mostly because I would never say those things to the actual person that I was talking about, which brings me to the conclusion that if you wouldn’t tell the person that you think their opinions, actions, or what ever it is about them that bothers you is stupid, then you shouldn’t say it at all.

The majority of us have always been taught “Treat others how you would want to be treated”  and things like “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, and it hasn’t been until recently that i’ve realised that this glorification of bitchy attitudes that we’ve been exposed to through movies, television and social media (especially tumblr) isn’t the type of attributes that we should be priding ourselves with.

I want to meet the person who decided to glorify the sarcastic nature, who made it ‘cool’ to be rude. I want to meet that person and ask them what they gained from having a personality that borderlines manipulative and contemptuous. I would hate to think that the people that I surround myself with will happily start talking about me behind my back, or further, have the cruel confidence to attempt to tear me down in front of other people, in turn causing self esteem issues and humiliation.

We looked up to films like ‘Mean Girls’ and were even shown the film in schools, and we tried to promote anti-bullying, but all it did was emphasise that the mean girls are the prettiest and the most popular in the world of the film, and then, we as an audience begin to idolise the lifestyle of the characters. Yes, we ridicule some of their traits, and we thank every higher being that our mothers are not like Regina George’s, but when we are shown the average students, the ones who think that “Regina George is flawless”, they are depicted as unattractive people, with unflattering makeup and costumes, who we automatically assume are at the bottom of the social pyramid, and this was a very conscious and stereotypical directorial decision which degrades people, and gives the audience the impression that the ones who will prosper and be idolised are the characters with horrible and decieving personalities. It is literally a movie about mean people battling other mean people in a quest to humiliate each other. Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching ‘Mean Girls’ and quoting the film, and it does tackle the issue of bullying, social status and friendship, but only if you look into it deep enough.  So many people emulate that movie in the wrong way, they want to be the mean girls, but why?

The other night I was scrolling through my twitter feed and came across a tweet that may not seem that big of a deal, but it offended me. It said something along the lines of “Do you ever look at the amount of pimples someone has and then cringe?” I understand that this is something that would legitimately run through some people’s minds, and I can guarantee you that there will be a time when you come across someone with a pimple that distracts you from what they’re saying, and coming from someone who does struggle with skin problems and sensitive skin, I notice other people’s acne probably more than others would, mostly because I am so conscious about my own skin; but I would never make those thoughts public knowledge.

There is a strong difference between thinking something about a person’s physical attributes, and actually publicising your thoughts for everyone else to see. I can guarantee that everyone is self conscious about something, but it’s just common courtesy to ignore the flaw in their appearance and, if you must judge, judge a person by their personality.

Yes, as humans we are naturally judgemental, there is no denying it, I can be very judgemental, and I cannot argue otherwise. It is a sub conscious mechanism that we use to distinguish whether we like someone or not, or to protect ourselves from harm. Really though, why would you purposely be so mean to people? Is it because you need to point our other people’s flaws in an attempt to distract others from yours, or do you think that intimidating people will make you seem cool?

Another time, I was at a school retreat, and over heard a group of girls talking about another girl who was meant to be one of their best friends. The vivid vulgarity of their words shocked me, I couldn’t understand how they could loudly speak of someone in such a discriminating way. What was worse is that out of the eight of them, not one of those people defended their friend, and instead, joined in to the conversation, adding fuel to the flame. I know that looking back, I can’t talk to any of those girls without thinking “imagine what they’re going to say about me when I walk away”, and worse than that, regardless of how nice either one of them may seem, I can’t bring myself to trust them.

We were taught kindness, we were taught compassion, and we were taught manners. We were given a voice to speak up about the injustices in the world, and we were given a voice to share our opinions, to contribute to the life and the environment that we build for ourselves, yet here we are, polluting this environment with damaging words. We are inevitably isolating ourselves from the positives in people because we drown ourselves in their flaws. We are limiting the capabilities of incredible people because other superficial people decide that they aren’t “hot enough” to be apart of something.

When did we come to this, and why do we give those who judge and degrade people, the power to decide what others are capable of?

My original concept was to base this article around this comment that I saw on a photo of Kim Kardashian and North West, but I got a little carried away… Sorry!

photo

*The intention of this article isn’t to offend. As for the tweet mentioned, my intention is not to confront, but to emphasise my point.* 

What do you think about this post?