Why Not Call "Labels" Characteristics, Instead?

Labels. We hear them, we see them; all. the. time. 
Remember back in high school, we all had worn at least one (or more) of these "labels" even if we didn't realize it at the time? 

I know I did. My label? Well, I seem to recall having a few: Band Geek, Speech Geek, Most Unpopular Girl, & Bitch-Whore-Slut. What even is a "label?" Dictionary.com refers to it as a classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive. So, why do we feel the need for labels and cliches to help us be more popular, when none of that will matter after graduation? 

I am not the Band Geek I once was over a decade ago. I am a writer, which today is a characteristic I maintain about myself, not a label I wear around to shield myself with. Labels should be called or referred to (if anything) as characteristics. Or characteristic traits. Either or, really. They don't make us who we are, we are them. 

However, the internet also defines "characteristic" as "a distinguishing feature or quality." We are not what others think of us, but rather what we think of ourselves. 

I think of myself as writer. 

My given label today might as well be "Punk-Ass Bitch." 

I like my characteristic better than my label. 

What do you think?




Amanda B Hansen






Amanda Hansen

Amanda B Hansen is a writer & poet who currently resides in Omaha, NE. 
She is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She holds a Bachelor's in General Studies. Her certifications include English, Music, & Creative Writing. 

Amanda currently splits her time being a full-time Customer Service Adviser at her local Walgreen's, and being an Editor/Social Media/Writing Contributor for Fine Lines Journal in Omaha.