Individuality. Be Yourself and Do It YOUR Way!

individuality stereotypesLast night, I sat on the couch and watched UFC The Ultimate Fighter (in which contestants fight their way towards a contract with the UFC).  I’m really enjoying this show.  At the same time, I was knitting a sweater.

Knitting and UFC.  You might not put those things together very often.

But why not?

I realised how often our lives are influenced by stereotypes and assumptions.  Even in the UFC show, the victorious female fighter, Julianna Pena, felt the need to point out that just because she liked getting dressed up and looking like a girl, didn’t mean she couldn’t fight well.  Why should we assume that a woman who likes to wear make-up doesn’t have what it takes to be a UFC fighter?

Lou Tice at the Pacific Institute, describes stereotypes beautifully:

“Stereotypes are thought-saving devices, because when you accept a stereotype, you don’t have to think for yourself at all. Your idea comes to you frozen, prepackaged, ready to use. You just thaw it out and slip it into your brain like a microwave – nothing further is required.”

When we can free ourselves from those stereotypes, we can free ourselves to live a much more fulfilling life.  We free ourselves simply to enjoy what we enjoy doing.

If I tell you there is a woman who:

  • Practises Karate.
  • Likes rugby.
  • Used to teach rifle shooting.
  • Drinks pints of beer.

does that conjure up a particular image in your head?

Then I tell you there is a woman who:

  • Likes fashion and make-up, and worked in the bridal fashion industry.
  • Studied ballet keenly growing up.
  • Loves baking pretty cupcakes.
  • Has drawers full of crafting materials in her home.

does this conjure up a different image?

What if I told you that all these enthusiasms belong to ONE WOMAN?   

That woman is, in fact, ME.

Challenge the one-size-fits-all stereotype, step away from the generalised assumption of what people (including yourself) should be like based on one aspect of their lives.  Celebrate the many sides to yourself, and revel in your individuality.

 

© Copyright Liz Wootton, 2013.  All Rights Reserved

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4 thoughts on “Individuality. Be Yourself and Do It YOUR Way!

  1. inspiring60swoman says:

    Thanks Liz, for your comments on my blog! Very much appreciated and just read your latest post, which is so relevant to both myself and the women in the world I would like to make a difference to!
    Like you, there are so many facets to me and it doesn’t serve to try and put me ‘in a box’. While choosing not to craft at the moment, I have had an avid interest in all things domestic, including cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening, etc. Yet, I also ride my bike, work out almost daily at the gym and yes, even was a rifle shooter in the past! I love nothing better than getting all dressed up, painting my nails, putting on make up, etc., yet take me camping out in the wilds, with no one around but beautiful nature and build me a fire, so I can cook campfire food and sit with a beer in hand, surveying the perfect way the tent has been put up (usually by me) and life is good!
    And because I’m 60, the young men at my gym assume all sorts of things about my abilities, even questioning whether I can lift something, when oftentimes I can lift heavier weights than the young guys!
    I’ll put more of this in my blog, but thanks again for your comment and your brilliant blog!

    • Liz at Human Nature says:

      Thanks so much for your comments – it really is lovely to hear that you are doing so many inspiring things. I believe that we all have it in us to do many wonderful things with our lives, if we can remove the boundaries imposed on us by stereotypes and others’ opinions. Keep up the great work!!

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