4 Labels and their Toxic Communities

There is nothing worse than feeling inadequate for a label. Many of the reasons people are choosing to detox from the internet is because of the inherent toxicity of all of these communities; especially communities with positive intentions with negative social influence. Most of them harbor an elitism which alienates those wanting to identify as these labels to discover their identities or lifestyles. All of the following labels have wonderful people, however, we cannot avoid the “clique” nature.

Most of the time, the bullying comes from this statement: “You are [blank] enough.” You aren’t aware enough. You aren’t activist enough. You aren’t experienced enough. You aren’t enough of a fan.

As cheesy as it sounds, we are enough in whatever lifestyle choices we make. Today, I wanted to discuss some popular labels of the day and their less-than-savory sides, and how they shouldn’t detract from your enjoyment of labeling yourself in these categories.


Minimalist

Everyone has seen the Minimalist’s documentary on Netflix. And if you haven’t seen that, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or have seen her new show on Netflix, which has vastly influenced the minimalist/decluttering trend.

You aren’t minimalist enough is a statement seen a lot on blogs and YouTube especially, as people will show videos of them packing minimally, or show their minimalist-decorated apartment. If you take time to scroll through the comments, you’ll find a wave of attacks. “You have too many clothes to be minimalist!” or “You don’t need all that stuff, how dare you call yourself a minimalist!”

Just as you’ll find with everything on this list, most labels come in the form of a spectrum. Minimalism to someone could mean having nothing on their home surfaces while another may limit themselves to owning 50 items and putting it in a backpack.

Lavendaire and Victoria Zimmerman discuss some of these issues in the videos below. Watch if you want to see the varying sides of this conversation.

Feminist

I have a whole post about the negative side of feminism. I just wanted to include it because this is so important. Long story short: feminist does not mean you hate men. Being a proper feminist means your egalitarian.

Just because a woman didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton for the presidency and instead voted third party doesn’t mean they are a betrayal to all women out there. It means they have differently weighted priorities.

Ethical/Sustainable

If you haven’t seen the television show The Good Place, you should for a variety of reasons. However, I also think it provides a wonderful commentary on the complexity of choice as our species moves forward. When someone used to be able to happily and ethically buy a tomato at their local grocer, now there are numerous ethical and moral queries when buying a tomato. Is it locally sourced? Is it organic? Is it funding a company/owner that has views I don’t approve of?

These questions didn’t arise until the surge of people beginning to care about where their stuff came from, hence ethical and sustainable consumerism (which is arguably impossible with capitalism). There are numerous people who thrift because it is one of the easiest ways to be ethical and good for the environment, but some people are even against thrifting because people can be opposed to Goodwill or it’s immoral to thrift clothes made by fast fashion manufacturer’s like H&M or Forever21, even though they were donated and thrifted.

You aren’t ethical enough. You aren’t sustainable enough. Sometimes, it’s hard to be both, much less one. Purchasing jeans not made from slaves with ethical materials from a company with good values can cost $$$. Some people do not have that disposable income, so they choose thrifting $5 pants from the Salvation Army. How can you be faulted for that? At least it’s not Wal-Mart.

As life and society gets more complicated, choices become more complicated.

assorted-blond-hair-boutique-374677.jpg

Gay

I always associated the negative side of the LGBTQIA+ community with Tumblr.

I don’t have much to say on this one either except that it’s fine to be quiet about your gender/sexuality identifiers so long as you feel comfortable and supported in your own skin. You aren’t gay enough to be at this parade or various other statements are disrespectful to an individual’s spirit. Unfortunately, they are plentiful.

It is easy to see how brutal this community can be, especially with the phenomenon of bi-erasure, among other negative movements.

If you identify on any of those spectrums, you are gay enough. No questions asked.


Negativity aside, ultimately we need to understand we can identify however we choose by overcoming the influences from those who want to tarnish a community of loving, motivated people.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day! Cheers!