Monday, 11 February 2013

On Opinions (the good, the bad and the ugly)

Opinions. Everybody's got 'em. And, in this internet age it's easier than ever to express them (anonymously or otherwise) without 'suffering the consequences'. However, whilst this can be a really good thing, it is also dangerous and damaging. I don't have a particularly strong internet presence, but I'm sure I'm not the only one to have noticed the 'opinion wars' that occur in the comments section of YouTube videos, on blog or Facebook posts, or on Twitter. I've got nothing against a healthy discussion, and I'm very opposed to the 'you're opinion is wrong' tactic (unless you don't think Jennifer Lawrence/Owen Farrell are attractive. In which case, your opinion IS wrong), however, there are ways of noticing when you're typing a 'bad' opinion (note, 'bad' not 'wrong').

For example:

Recently (not that recently I know, but it did cause a bit of a stir) Miley Cyrus cut her hair. DUN dun dun DUN, right? She received a lot of stick for this, however, not all the opinions were the best directed. (Before I type anymore I'm just going to clear up my opinion on this hard hitting matter: I preferred her ballerina bun style, however she's a beautiful woman and can pull anything off. I do think it'd look better in her natural colour, or dyed darker though.)

Here's an example of a 'good' opinion: I don't like Miley's new hair style. I miss her old hair :(

A 'bad' opinion: Ugh, Miley's new hair cut is so not feminine enough. Makes her look like a boy. No guy is ever going to like that.

And a 'just-plain-ugly' opinion: OMFG She looks like a slut/bitch/whore (etc. You get the point).

Whilst it's easy to distinguish the ugly opinion from the others, it's not so easy to tell the difference between the good and bad ones. This is because they are both articulately expressed opinions. However, there is a key difference between the two. The first is commenting on her hair at a purely aesthetic level: It only talks about her hair. The second, however, is making a comment on society. This in itself is not bad thing, however, this particular comment is reinforcing a patriarchal opinion on femininity and what a girl should be or should look like in order to get what every girl wants: 'a guy'. These kind of comments that put value on a women's femininity are such a bad thing for society. They make young women see themselves as 'ugly' for not conforming to a narrow minded standard. As such, this is a 'bad' opinion.

Obviously, this argument works with lots of other situations in which a particular sect of society are told they can't look like/think/do certain things. Which is just bad.

I realise this perhaps wasn't the most eloquently expressed post, but I've got about 10 minutes to go catch a bus!

Best wishes!


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