READ THIS AFTER LOOKING AT THE PICTURE. In June, I did this piece for my last art project. I created it to show the minimal differences between a “normal” woman and a Muslim woman. They are the same woman. “Think” at the bottom is meant to challenge the viewer to realize that there are really no differences in us as people. I was inspired by MTV’s Look Different movement. I feel like this is an appropriate time to post this, due to all of the Islamophobia going on after the ISIS attacks on Paris. Do not get me wrong, I do think it’s very sad this happened, but it is wrong to blame all Muslims. My interactions with Muslims has been limited just due to the community I live in, but one of my closest friends my freshman year is a Muslim. She taught me a lot about their values and what she believes in. It’s very similar to what I believe in. Now I’m not saying what she believes in goes for all Muslims, because in case you didn’t know there are two different types of Muslims, but what I’m saying is Muslims are good people. Think differently. Just because someone is different than you doesn’t mean they are bad.
What is a title? Pertaining to a relationship, it’s a symbol. The symbol is to “describe expectations and how you communicate”. Society has decided that we are to label each and every relationship, even friendships. For example, a best friend is better than just being a friend with someone. The word best has a lot of meaning in the phrase, to the point where I was referred to as a “friend” by one of my closest friends (I’ve been friends with her almost nine years), and I was offended. The whole idea of being offended is ridiculous, because I know how close we are and how our relationship functions. It’s the fact that I felt I deserved a higher title (a title which I have by the way). Looking back at the moment I feel silly. Everyone has decided that the title is so important that every relationship we have needs one. I challenge you to go without the title. I want you to really see how your relationship functions, if you remove the desire for a title that society has placed upon us. Every relationship is different so embrace the differences and allow yourself to enjoy your relationship. See what happens when you allow your counterpart to take over. Look for hints and allow space. Don’t over think the situation, just take it for what it is. Allow yourself to trade “roles”, so that you can see if you really like how this person treats you. It’s not the easiest thing, due to the pattern you’ve already created in your head but try. You can do it. Allow your counterpart to do what they would like to do, and if you are not okay with something they do, think on it. Wait a full day, before bringing it up to see how you truly feel about their action. Yes, they will be confused about why you are talking about yesterday, just explain to them what you’ve done. This part was especially difficult for me, but with time has gotten easier. I have a habit of getting mad easily, but I decided that not everything is worth fighting for and that sometimes you just have to acknowledge how you felt, not argue over it. Everything doesn’t have to be a fight, it’s unhealthy for both of you. Communication is everything (specifically how you deliver your message). If you are angry and harsh, the person will react defensively. Just talk to them, be kind (treat others how you would like to be treated). Soul search, find out what you like and don’t like about the relationship. Most important, recall all the times you were happy with them and hold on to those memories. Happiness is most important in all relationships and distancing yourself from the person will really allow you to see how happy you are without them. I hope you all learn from my challenge, feel free to write your results in the comments or email me.