Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lifestyle? What does that even mean?

Yeah, this is a pretty awesome outfit,
and I needed a pic to go with
the story.
Photo by Joeri Stegeman (Original)
I really don't like the word "lifestyle." It's applied to so many things; how you decorate your home, the group you identify yourself as a part of, it's even used as a pejorative in cases where people talk about "alternative lifestyles" (usually a euphemism for being gay or transgender -- which is not a "lifestyle choice", it's how you were born -- isn't science GREAT?).

But seriously, I know many people that need to identify with a "lifestyle" -- and I don't even really get what that means. I know gym rats who look down on people who are overweight, saying that they are choosing the lifestyle of being "a couch potato." I know business people who look down on people who have tattoos, thinking they must be scummy.  I know people that have tattoos who look down on people who don't have them, or don't have the "right" ones, saying they're wimps or posers.  It all comes back to "you're not as good as me because I've decided to follow this one idea that is called a lifestyle and dictates almost all my choices." Of course, there's always someone who feels that they more purely represent a lifestyle than you and are better than you for it.  How many times have you heard that someone was a poser?

I just don't get it.

I mean, yes, I self identify as a nerd, but that doesn't mean that it's my lifestyle and that I have a right to police everyone else who calls themselves nerds -- or even that I can only enjoy certain things and still call myself a nerd.  I identify as woman too, and that also doesn't give me the right to say what defines womanhood for absolutely everyone who is a woman, and I don't let myself be boxed in by someone else's definition of what a woman should be.

I haven't picked a single way of defining myself and  limited myself to that specific definition. I can't imagine how boring that would be. 

I don't have a "lifestyle." I have a life, and I have style, but they are each my own.