It has become a blanket term for
There really is no dodging the saccharine-sweet former country-singer-turned-pop-princess. If you’re able to overlook the cringeworthy twerking in the ‘Shake It Off’ video, you’ll find T-Swift making some sense in her video for ‘Blank Space’, the second single off her latest album, resulting in some thoughtful conversation. She pokes fun at the dark humour and rumours that have surrounded her love life as she morphs from the trophy girlfriend to ‘the crazy girl’, smashing her lover’s car with a golf club, mascara streaming down her face. We know the crazy girl well – we’ve pointed her out to friends at parties and know her characteristics: moody, jealous, dramatic, too sensitive, obsessive. Her video makes us think about the behaviour believed to characterise a girl as ‘crazy’ and why we feel the need to assign the label to women at all. It has become a blanket term for women who display emotions others deem inappropriate. Instead of finding the terms to explain a woman’s pain, elation or disappointment, it is much easier to dismiss her as crazy. Taylor’s video is bizarre enough to force us to acknowledge that the level of craziness reflected in it is way beyond anything most women would actually reasonably do in the same situation. And that parody reminds us why this oversimplification is unacceptable. What makes us human – and what makes us women – is our complexity. A range of emotions we’re not always able to put into words. They are as unique as each of us and should be acknowledged as such. When we’re regarded by others to be crazy, or its alternative – stable, balanced, acceptable – we lose those nuances and become emotionally flat, living in fear of the ‘crazy’ label. It’s a label we need to be less willing to accept and less willing to attach to ourselves. So the next time someone calls you crazy, give them your best T-Swift wry smile, wink and remind them you’re so much more than that.
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that February feels like the proper start to the New Year. With it being the shortest month of the year,it has me reflecting about whether or not I’m using my time constructively. I find myself facing some tough truths about how often I’ve used ‘If only I had more time’ as an excuse for not putting enough work in to achieve my personal and professional goals. American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr put it best when he said,‘Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.’
The power in this statement is the opportunity it creates for all of us to reevaluate what we are doing with our lives. We are not all destined to change the course of history but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of our time on Earth. Are you plugged into your surroundings and making decisions to help you achieve a full and productive life? Are you making the effort to dedicate your time to the things you deem important? Or do you get stuck in the rut of wishing time away so you can get through the day and make it home to watch
Perhaps Beyoncé said it best in her song ‘I Was Here’, about the need to leave some sort of legacy: ‘I’ve done everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be.’ So with the same amount of hours in a day afforded to you as anyone else, knuckle down and focus on the promises you made yourself.