Growing up, I have been challenged to think more about my identity, what it means to me and how I relate to it.
In my younger years living as a minority, I adapted to living in a majority white society, being the only non white in my primary school.
However, as I got older I started to feel the labels being placed on me, were purely judged for how I looked. My ethnic appearance, gender and age being the first thing I was judged on with pre-conceived ideas of what I was about.
The struggle to disapprove these ideas received surprise as it was out of the norm of what someone ‘like me’ should behave like opposing the ‘labels’ ‘representation’ and ‘standards’. I was showing myself for the individual that I am, in human flesh away from a tick box.
Sometimes, ‘diversity’ on the screen and media can feel like it is just a coloured face as part of an inclusion exercise, with no substance that strips the real individual away. It is as though the background has to be concealed and all aspects of the individual has to conform to be accepted.
As a result, I feel torn with my identity, but realised it is not simple and is changing for all the different things I represent. I can only be true to myself, and fight against expectations of what someone like me should be like, finding my own identity.
I fall into many categories that have shaped my personality, thoughts and way of life just like everyone else. I present an image for those that have presumed ideas on what people like me should be like.
I am a patchwork of beliefs, cultures, interests and I stand for more than just to be defined by the heritage of my appearance.
I fight to break barriers and defy expectations that are put on by others, standing for everything that I am! My identity is that I am ME-whatever that may be!
From this, please realise that: You cannot conform. Your ‘identity’ is what makes you, You-and thats the beauty!
Leave your comments below, I would love to hear what identity means to you? #BBCIdentity