As we ALL know (even my Lebanese grandmother who doesn’t have Internet at her house let alone keep up with pop culture) Caitlyn Jenner has recently come out to America as the person she has felt like she was always meant to be. As quickly as you can even say “Caitlyn,” posts on social media were coming up all over. The opinions varied from supportive to hateful as we got to read the good, the bad and the ugly views the world had to offer. While most people commented on her looks (commenting on a woman’s looks in America? *sHoCkInG*), America also wanted to comment that Caitlyn didn’t deserve to be honored at the ESPY’s for The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
Okay, America, I’m going to need you to take a hot minute and just calm the hell down.
Whether or not Caitlyn deserved the award is irrelevant right now. That is an entirely separate topic neither you nor myself can change. Give it up. She got the award, I am sorry. What I’m here to write about is how laughable it is that some people truly believe that this woman is not courageous.
Let me paint you a picture: as a child, your parents (hopefully) tell you that you can be anything you want to be. Your teachers say you can be president even though you can’t correctly spell your own name right sometimes. Your coaches push you to be the best version of yourself. Your grandma tells you all she just wants is for you to be happy, no matter what.
Fast forward a couple years: your peers make fun of you for wanting to play with trucks over Barbie’s, or joining theater over football. Society wants you to #BeYourself but fat-shames anyone who prefers burgers over salads. Musicians sing about “boys wanting a little more booty to hold at night” yet fashion designers send size 00 down the runway.
And then suddenly you realize…it’s a lot harder to be what you want to be.
Let me tell you something, being who you want to be in life is one of the most courageous things a person can do. We live in a society that promotes being yourself, until that self is different than the societal norm. We are so quick to jump on someone who has acclaimed notoriety for being different, yet we watch their life unfold on a TV screen.
What puts one person below another? Because they live differently than you? Is that really going to be your argument as to why you feel the need to so openly berate someone else? Just because you have Freedom of Speech does not make criticizing another human being for being themselves acceptable and/or okay by any means. Whether or not you agree with her decision is beside the point because I’m here to tell you:
Absolutely. No. One. Gives. A. Shit.
Seriously, no one.
How are you going to sit here and say that her decision isn’t courageous when I can GUARANTEE there is something you have either done–or not done–because you felt pressured to fit in with society? Defying the rigid structure of gender roles in society takes an incredible amount of courage. If you want to hate her, hate her for being something I know a vast majority of us are not, and that is courageous. Don’t hate her for winning an award, don’t hate her for getting more followers than Obama on Twitter, hate her for having more balls than you ever will…pun 150% intended.
Featured image via Vanity Fair.