I am a firm believer that people should be able to be them self without being discriminated against  so tonight when I was tucked up warm in my flatmate’s aubergine, tasselled poncho and I had to go and collect my other flatmate off the bus I thought to myself why should I change? So I didn’t. I walked through Dundee city centre and through some backstreets, past drunk football supporters, lads on a night out and I didn’t hear a word. The truth is most of the time people won’t care; the only person limiting you is you. People are too worried about what other people think when in actual fact they don’t think anything; the only person thinking about it is you so you should just do, be, wear what makes you happy.

People have always been put in categories and had a stereotype imposed upon them, “the working class”; national stereotypes, social groups, age brackets and even the fundament of being a man or a women. They all seek to impose a certain aspirational image upon which they should model themselves. They all seek to control freedom of expression; surely at the end of the day we are all just humans who should be able to express themselves in a way that any other human can without societal constraints?

“It is the 21st century” is perhaps an overused phrase to represent the view that surely progression has allowed us to reach that stage by this point. I feel it perhaps more apt than ever in relation to the topic of freedom of expression. We now have numerous laws governing the ability for people to express themselves in whatever way they like without being subjected to abuse and discrimination. Why is it then that in our progressive 21st century ways people still do not feel as though they can truly do what they want to do? Going back to the poncho, I may have worn it down the street but my female flatmate, whose poncho it is, still won’t where it to lectures in case she is judged for it.

Why these stupid social stereotypes and anxieties still exist is a mystery to me, I hope that I will live to see the day that we have progressed so far that we no longer are bothered by the constraints society puts on us. I fear though that day may never come; it seems this need to judge and categorise people is almost a part of human nature which will never be eradicated.

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