Have you ever called someone a Karen?
The other day I was listening to a podcast called the Decoder Ring, it takes mainstream cultural habits and events and explores the history behind it all, and how it came to play a role in our societies today. This particular episode was all about The Karen.
If you’re sitting there thinking, what’s a Karen? Here’s my quick downlow for ya:
Karen has become a global persona given to people who exhibit ignorant and racially hostile behaviour, particularly white, middle-aged women. What started out as a meme on Reddit became a widespread joke tossed around at your casual bbq – she even has her very own hair cut.
Taking The Karen aside for a sec, what I loved about this episode is that it went deep into the roots of code names used throughout history, and how labelling someone, such as a Karen, served as a way to identify and categorise people within communities and social circles.
It got me thinking –
What are the labels I use for myself and others?
How does that make me feel? And
How do the labels I live inside of impact the way I show up in the world?
Although labelling things stems from an evolutionary need to identify danger, and ensure a sense of belonging, in modern society I feel it’s become an inhibitor to our growth and ability to unite with others.
When we label something, we put it in a box –
this is what it should look like, this is how it should be,
this is what it means.
Rich, poor, smart, dumb, beautiful, ugly, cool, weird, slutty, goodie-good, drop-kick…..
Every label you consciously or flippantly assign to yourself or someone else, comes with its fair amount of assumptions and judgements about who that person is, and how they behave – not taking into consideration the complexity and uniqueness of each individual. And often once labels are handed out, they are treated as absolutes, making it very difficult to break away from.
As a result, we end up living inside labels that limit us.
So, my invitation for you this month is to challenge the labels you assign to yourself and others. Grab your journal and reflect on the following:
- Where does this label come from?
- How does this label serve yourself or others?
- How might you see yourself or others differently if you were to let these go?
As always, have a lovely rest of the day, and if you enjoyed this article you’d love my Monthly Dose of Motivation newsletter – it’s where I share practical tools, tips, and positive take aways on creating an authentic and fulfilling life. Find the link near the bottom of the homepage.