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blog: Against self-definition in introduction

Julia Lenton
Vail CO, Colorado

For the past hour, with my laptop my weapon, I have been waging an attack against the stereotypes we subscribe to in the act of self-definition and introduction. However, it doesn’t matter how vehemently I pound my keyboard, because one day I am going to have to come to terms with the fact that, as a writer, words and definitions are all I’ve got. And most words are tainted by attached assumptions and stereotypes.

So, despite the many limitations that these words contain, I am going to attempt to introduce myself all the same (what can I say? I’m a walking hypocrisy!):

I am a single, white female. I’m from Sydney, Australia, and I’m nineteen years old. I’m living in Avon, Colorado, and working at Beaver Creek until March, when I head home to return to University, where I am majoring in Media and Communications.



Before you leap to conclusions about the inclusion of “mate,” “g’day” and “sheila” in my national vernacular, how many kangaroos I have in my backyard and how much beer I consume on a daily basis, just try to let go of the stereotypes for a second.

After all, I’m not silly enough to subscribe to the thought that all Americans are fat.



I suppose all I’m trying to say is beware of assumptions. Every time we use a word to describe ourselves or someone around us, we are subscribing to an existing set of stereotypes and behaviours attached to this idea. And yes, sometimes aspects of these stereotypes to pertain to the truth, but others can be damaging to our image.

Let’s beware of pigeon-holing ourselves into certain definitions and embrace everyone in their own unique way. I think the most flattering definition anyone could ever give me would be that I am undefinable!

But perhaps this says something about me?



Julia Lenton can be reached at julia_ann_lenton@hotmail.com.


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