Justin Bieber vs. Donald Trump.

Justin Bieber is one of the biggest names in Pop Culture. Donald Trump is – whether you like or not – the President of the United States of America. Both are household names, and everyone has an opinion about them. These men are marmite – you love them, or you hate them. But who are they? How would we define their identities within the colourful tapestry of Humanity? 

JB New Picture - Justin Bieber Photo (9198672) - FanpopDonald Trump Speaks Out On Undocumented Immigrants ...

I started thinking about this recently because not so long ago, I was in the midst of an identity crisis. Always wise, my brother said to me that “labels are for food, not people”. I didn’t really hear him when he first said it. I heard, and agreed – but I didn’t listen. I was still trying to find the right label for me. The right box that fit the exact shape of me, and hoped for a community of people to go along with it. A collection of words and definitions that could help me to define me.

Finally, a few months later: I finally got what he meant. It’s impossible to use labels to define people – we are too complicated and too complex. It is the same for groups of people; for societies; races and religions. Yet, we still do. We just can’t help ourselves. We have an inherent desire to describe and explain – and by doing so, we pigeonhole. We exacerbate stereotypes. We increase stigma, and we further the other. We go to war with whole countries just because we are all so passionate that our box is the right one to be in.

We have created an array of new psychological illnesses; sexualities; genders; political leanings; learning disabilities. A myriad of terms and jargon have appeared in the western world to describe our differences. Every one of them might I add are valid, right and exist. But there’s a catch 22 to acknowledging these differences. Instead of demolishing the binary, we’ve created shelves on the many continua of life, and then we put boxes onto those shelves. Those that don’t neatly fit into one box, or onto one shelf scramble around with labels until they find one that fits. Until they think about it some more – like the favourite jumper doesn’t fit as snug as it did before – neither does the label.

So, who is Donald Trump? Who is Justin Bieber? Do we have a right to assign labels to anyone but ourselves?

No, we categorically don’t. But, we do. We do it to explain our understanding of other peoples identities. To compare them to ourselves and form a perception of their existence within our own minds. For me, Donald Trump is a conservative, misogynistic, politician. I could add many more words – but I won’t. I’ll keep it PG because let’s face it. I’ve never actually met the guy. I’ve never been a politician, let alone Prime Minister – in fact, I’ve never been to the USA. I also imagine if I looked deep into every decision he’s made, I’m sure I’ll be ashamed to admit there will be at least a decision or two there that I agree with. But, the lefty I love to say I am; the liberal colours I want as part of my identity make him the other.

Justin Bieber? Do you know what – my identity has loved the idea of being ‘alternative’, so the Prince of Pop Music I’ll automatically turn my nose up at. Turns out I actually quite like some of his songs, and lets give the kid a break – he’s worked harder than most of us to get where he is now.

Who are Donald Trump and Justin Bieber for you? What labels and categories would you give them?

What about you? Discuss in the comments. 🙂

Follow my blog if you are interested in exploring more in-depth other ways that we choose to label ourselves and others. 🙂

 

 

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