I recently read two articles, one about millennials, and the other about one of Jennifer Lopez’s Instagram posts. Millennials, for those of you who don’t know, are defined as those who reached adulthood in the early 21st century, so at the point of me writing this a millennial is any adult under the age of 40. Millennials do seem to get some bad press, possibly justified and possibly not, and definitely not a help to those adults under 40 who are just getting on with life, much like the rest of us are.
Jennifer Lopez was praised for posting about her sister’s child, Brendan, using gender-neutral pronouns and focussing on Brendan’s achievements. I don’t know how Brendan chooses to self-label; what matters is that the labels, once chosen, are respected.
So how are the two linked? All too often we self-label or allow others to label us without really thinking about what that means. Do the labels we acquire properly define who we are, or do we simply accept them because that is what we do? And does it matter? In short, it does. It matters a lot. Labels can and do limit us, just as they can liberate and redefine us.
Think about your own labels. What do they mean to you? And what do they mean to others? Is the label defining you, or are you defining the label? And remember, only you can write your own labels, and you know that you can change them and yourself at any time, don’t you?