(Photo credit: @Doug88888)
I live in the land of beige. It’s a lovely land, but everything looks the same, all the buildings are beige, we’re buried by sand and I sometimes wonder if it distorts creativity and individuality.
I’m surrounded by tweens and teens, all of whom are trying to find out who they are. It’s bad enough having to be a teenager in today’s society anyway, without being one in the middle of the desert where everything is beige. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live and I think it’s an amazing opportunity for the tweens and teens, but I can’t help wonder if they become muted by all the beige.
As a society we have always been taught to conform to our roles, girls are princesses and boys are superheroes. It was very black and white. Now, though, everything has become a little grey (perhaps a lot more than fifty shades…)
Disney is a perfect example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am and always have been a big fan of Disney, but the princesses have always conformed to the traditional, subservient role. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, they always have. But, that is what I loved about Brave. Merida didn’t conform. She had her wild curly red hair and didn’t care about being a little bit feisty. We are kindred spirits.
Having read the articles published in the media about the changes Disney made to Merida, I’m left wondering- what’s wrong with being a little rough round the edges? What’s wrong with being a little different? What’s wrong with having an opinion? Everyone should aspire to being different. Everyone should aspire to have their own opinion and not be afraid to voice it either. I realise that Disney were thinking along the lines of marketability, but what about the message they send out to their young fans?
It’s taken me a long time to find my voice and be completely comfortable with who I am. As a child I wasn’t really comfortable with my hair. It was like having a double whammy- unruly curls and red, making me a moving target for all kinds of names. I would wear a headband to hide my hair- goodness only knows why- I thought something like that could tame my hair!
I know that when I was a young lass I would have felt a little better knowing that I wasn’t the only one with unruly hair and big dreams. Now, of course I love it. So much so, that I will dye it various shades of red just because I can. I’m also now living in a country where being a red-head is highly unusual. Everyone is tanned with dark hair, I’m, as my mum always used to say “pale and interesting”. So, I’m embracing the concept of being born to stand out. There is absolutely no way I can blend in, and why should I? But, I’m comfortable with who I am and it’s taken me a while to get there. How long does it take to feel comfortable with who you are and what you like? Do our surroundings speed up or hinder that process?
I’m sure as I’m sitting typing this post that there is a fine layer of dust settling on me. This has happened often over the last few weeks as we are currently suffering from sandstorms, too many in my opinion. But, it did get me thinking about the idea of blending in and conforming to a society. Our tweens and teens are not the most creative and they don’t really display any sense of individuality, is this because of all the beige or is it tweens and teens in general?