Welcome to the first post of March on benpechey.com. This month is all about NEW things, from purchases to experiences I will be covering it all. Today I want to talk about how new experiences and interactions remind us that we are not the only ones who live on this planet.
I like to keep my eyebrows in shape. For this reason, I am often found having them threaded. Every 2/3 weeks, without fail. I have a love-hate relationship with threading. The unique twinges of potential sneezes that pulse in my face are incredibly unnerving. However, I love how neat they look. So on balance, it is totally worth it.
I am not here to talk about my eyebrows, but the interaction that sparked this post occurred whilst I was having my eyebrows threaded on Christmas Eve. I know that it is March, but bear with me, this will all make sense.
My wonderful threader asked me if I was ready for Christmas. I replied that I was, before asking her if she was. Her reply was measured and polite, saying simply ‘I don’t celebrate’. I didn’t know what to do, should I apologise, should I ignore it. All whilst holding in the urge to sneeze.
It wasn’t an awkward altercation by any means, but it did highlight something important to me. I have written at length before about filter bubble syndrome- where we are algorithmically pandered too, seeing only what we like, forcing us into a narrow sphere of culture. However, this was a real life incidence of cultural ignorance.
Apologies for talking about Christmas in March, but it is a good example for the point I want to make.
In the last census, 59.5% of the U.K. said they were Christian, with 25.7% atheists. 14.8% are made up of other faiths which accounts for around 8,500,000 people.
By assuming that because I choose to celebrate Christmas, I ignored the choices of countless people. I quickly established that my threader was looking forward to the two day holiday that working in a Christmas celebrating majority afforded her. She would also be partaking in Christmas dinner, but that was that.
In being reminded that not everyone does as I do, I had my cultural bubble burst. This is such a poignant moment, in doing so I was reminded that my experience of life is not the same as other people, I was reminded of my privilege, my struggles and my place in society because of it.
Where am I going? Well, I am just reminding you to look around you, and see more than just your experience of the world you live in. Remind yourself of the different cultures, religious groups, sexualities, gender identities, social positions that make up your existence.
Not only will this make you more aware of your position in all of this, but will also make you more aware of who needs help, what cause needs campaigning for and what issues need calling out.
Just like I did in the threading chair, have your eyes opened a bit more to the people around you. Remind yourself and become even more socially aware.
Thank you for joining me today, new month continues next Friday with Autumn/Winter 2019/20 Fashion Month.
Shot by Rachel Pechey
Shop my lewk:
Dress: ASOS Curve
Sunglasses: Hot Futures
Earrings: M&S, Similar