Proud to be Different!

Loz is back with another great article for you all! Anyone who’s ever been treated differently because they may be a little "different" because of their tattoos will really appreciate this one :)

imageThe other day I found myself watching Holby City, now I never usually watch stuff like this because, to be honest, I think it’s all a bit shit. This particular episode featured a foreign nurse, who had long black hair, wore dark make-up, had a black choker on and a couple of tattoos, you know stereotypical goth. I thought to myself “Ah, the television networks are realising that we don’t all look like clones of each other”. Well I was right and sadly so, as this nurse was then referred to as “the evil vampire”.

You cannot use derogatory terms when talking about ethnic minorities, because it is racist. Nor can you make judgemental comments about women, because it is sexist. You also cannot makes jokes at the expense of the elderly, because it is ageist. Why is it then ok to create a ‘stereotypical’ alternative person and then call them names, how is this any different to the above.

Ah, I know what the hierarchy at these television stations would probably say, it’s because an alternative person chooses to be the way they are, ethnic minorities/women/elderly, they don’t choose to be that way! I personally disagree with this, I have known since I was very small that I was different to other people. I used to look at ‘imagealternative’ people out of curiosity. I found all the pretty colours on their skin fascinating. I do not dress differently for the sake of it, I wear what I like, some days I will be wearing jeans and t-shirt with no make-up on (in all honesty I am usually doing DIY on these days) and other days I will be dressed up to the nines, pretty weird when I’m only popping down to Tesco’s to do a bit of shopping, but I feel more confident at these times. I may get stared at, pointed at, even giggled at (usually by children) but you know what, I feel like me.

Anyway, back to Holby City. I personally think that political correctness has gone too far and in all honesty I am not offended by this comment. What does offend me is that we have all these rules and regulations that stop us from picking on people with different colour skin/sex/age/religion etc. but this does not extend to the alternative lifestyle. It seems to be ok to insult those of us who choose to be individuals rather than sheep following the flock.
What worries me about remarks like this is that television has such an influence on people lives nowadays that they will react. If they see bullying on television with no repercussions, what’s to say they can’t do it in real life?
It is exactly because of this ignorance that the Sophie Lancaster foundation exists. If you don’t know already the Sophie Lancaster foundation uses an acronym, S.O.P.H.I.E, it stands for Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. It is a charity that was set up after the murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007. She and her boyfriend were set upon in a mob style attack because they dressed differently. They were both kicked and stamped on the head.

I have repeatedly read through the details of this attack and the aftermath of it, each time I end wiping away the tears from my face. I simply cannot comprehend why such violence had happened and each and every time I read about Sophie I am saddened.

Why can the television networks not see the bigger picture? They have a perfect opportunity here to show that alternative people are still people, with feelings, opinions and in most cases (from my own personal experiences anyway) a higher level of understanding and intelligence. Instead they hove chosen to make this woman into a bad person, or so they say. The episode that I saw I could not see what she had done wrong, all I saw was a female doctor calling her “the evil vampire’ and a male doctor saying she will stitch you up (well, she is a nurse!!!!|).
We all need to accept each other for who we are, not what we look like. This view extends to everyone from every walk of life, no matter of their race, religion, sex, age or choices. You cannot judge a book by it’s cover, nor indeed the shelf in which it sits, you have to take the time to open it and discover what lays beyond your initial impression. I’m not saying that everyone will be nice, polite and courteous. I am simply saying “Look beyond the pictures, the hair colours, the shiny bits of jewellery and maybe, just maybe you will be surprised at what you can learn.

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