This is how I wear black and white…
With a hefty dose of red. For me, a black and white outfit is just the backdrop for colour, never the centre of attention. It’s not that I have anything against black and white, it’s just a a bit bland. On me, that is. My face needs a good dose of colour around it. And my personality may need some colour, too…
Life is not black and white… Or is it?
My mother used to say that people who only wear black and white are inflexible in their thinking, and tend to see the world in rather mutually exclusive, either-or, black and white terms, too. Well, given that she herself wasn’t exactly the most flexible person in the world, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with this theory. However, I wouldn’t say that we need to see ‘all the shades of grey’ in each situation, either. For starters, there’s a whole rainbow of colours, and dozens of ways to see any given situation or problem…
And, even though polarised opinions tend to be rather infuriating, there might be a few issues that we should see in rather either-or, black and white terms.
Take human rights, for instance
There are countries where some citizens are denied human rights, because of their race, gender or sexual orientation. Or perhaps there are differing levels of human rights, with some people regarded as less valuable than others because of their race, gender or sexual orientation. For example, in many countries women might not enjoy the same rights as men, simply because they are women. Their behaviour is controlled in ways that men’s behaviour is not. This is often explained on ‘cultural’ or ‘religious’ grounds, which in turn is expected to justify outright discrimination or even severe human rights violations.
These types of human rights violations are often either completely overlooked, condoned or even justified by many well-meaning people, either out of genuine wish to promote tolerance and respect for cultural differences, or for fear of being considered racist. But isn’t regarding human rights as somehow conditional – subject to cultural relativism, and thus with different ‘interpretations’ in different cultures – a bit hypocritical?
Yes, cultures vary, and we need to understand that whatever we call ‘normal’ is not the only way to live. But human rights should not be subject to different, culture-specific ‘interpretations’. Unless of course we are willing to say that maybe, in some cultures, some humans are more deserving of human rights than others; or that some humans are, well, less human than others… But that would be whole different issue altogether.
And then there is is the concept of loyalty
We all have ideas and values we hold dear, and we expect other people to respect our views. Just as we respect their views, even if they differ from ours. Or do we?
It is easy to be tolerant of different opinions or values as long as the issue at hand remains more or less abstract and does not touch us personally. But sooner or later there comes a point where a simple difference of opinion crosses the line over to the realm of the personal, or encroaches on our core values. And it is my experience that when things get personal, loyalty and respect fly out of the window. But then again, shouldn’t we first be loyal to our own core values? Even before things get personal?
Of course, loyalty may mean very different things to different people. However, I dare say that stabbing a friend in the back is probably the opposite of loyalty in most people’s opinion. And if it isn’t, it should be.
Yes, I think there are a few ideas and values that are rather black and white. Even for me.
dress: Boden / poncho: Marja Kurki (old) / bag: Chanel /
shoes: Clarks (old) / sunglasses: Michael Kors
location: Helsinki Central Railway Station
Are there any issues you see in black and white terms?
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Not Dead Yet Style, Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Garay Treasures, High Latitude Style, Sydney Fashion Hunter, The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, Get Your Pretty On, Happiness at Mid-Life, A Labour of Life, Doused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Fashion Should Be Fun, Rachel the Hat, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Color and Grace, The Wardrobe Stylist, Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Nudge, Coco et La Vie en Rose, Fashionably Employed,The Fabulous Journey, Living on Cloud Nine, A Well Styled Life, Elegance and Mommyhood. Posh Classy Mom, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Sheela Writes, Shelbee on the Edge