I will share 3 previous posts on the idea of words and how they relate to our sense of identity & perception. Hopefully this series will help you better relate to the topics of chapter 3 (identity) and chapter 4 (perception).
This post is going to be slightly interactive: you will need some paper (or a note card), a pen, and an open mind. I’m going to start this post with a video clip from the 2004 movie Mean Girls.
Some of you may have seen this movie and hated it, while others consider it an essential to their movie collection. Regardless, pay close attention to Ms. Norbury’s words as the clip begins, specifically focusing on the idea of the power of insulting words. “When you call each other…, it makes it okay for guys to call you…”
Think about some of those words that we use to insult people around us, words that describe someone’s assertiveness, their drive, their affectional orientation (sexual orientation), their mental abilities, their family tree/lineage, their race… Write a few of those words on that card or paper you have. I’ll wait…
For some of you, that brief exercise was no problem. I mean, those words mean nothing to you, so whatever, right? For others, you may have struggled to write that word… that one you were told to never use. Or the one you were called by someone you loved. Or the one somebody called that person you love.
Let’s try a different approach: a few “cycles” ago, in the show America’s Next Top Model, each of the models vying for the show’s modeling contract was asked to think about a word they had been called that hurt them. They were then told to “wear” the word in their shoot. Here are a few of those models…
Some of those words may not seem too harsh for televised reality. On the other hand, we each know that words can just as readily be used to hurt us as to heal us.
In my next post, I’m going to share with you my much-anticipated “take-away” from this series on The Power of Words.