I sit and scroll; desensitized to the blatant misconception I see post after post on Instagram and Facebook. As I scroll, not even aware of what I am so obviously missing, a post catches my eye.
There is nothing drastically different or shocking about this post. In fact, it is similar to many posts I regularly see, but for some reason this post opens my eyes. I am hit with the realization that I had missed before: people (myself included) do not know what being a badass is.
As I look at this post, read the caption, and read the comments, I realize that we have bought into a cheapened and shallow version of what being a badass is. Our attitudes scream that being a badass is telling the world to get effed (I apologize to anyone who might not like that wording, but that’s the reality of people’s attitudes).
We portray being a badass as being able to do what we please in whatever way that appeals to us. This cheapened version of being badass has become an excuse to disrespect ourselves and others. We post ridiculous photos and statuses in an attempt claim we are badass in the need for attention or approval, and anyone who disagrees is told to get lost.
Being a badass is often thought of in a variety of different ways: breaking the rules, being rebellious, drinking, doing drugs, swearing, posting racy pictures, fighting, telling someone off, even just being straight up heartless and uncaring, and of course telling the world to get effed.
I’m not sure what has caused us to buy into a cheap version of being a badass; is it our culture, our society, our generation? Perhaps it is the fact that we are humans and we often get things wrong? I honestly do not know.
LISTEN, I am not here to shame people for doing these things, I am also guilty of some of these behaviours. All I am saying is that these behaviours and attitudes are not what being a badass is.
So, if I don’t think these things are badass, then what is? I began wondering what I thought a badass was in place of what I once believed, and I had a few revelations on what being an actual badass encapsulated.
I think that being badass is going against the flow, being different, and having grit and guts. I think people typically agree with this when then think of badass, but I began to realize that going against the flow and being bold looks differently than what I, and so many others, thought.
So, here is what I think being a badass truly is!
Being kind is badass!
I know that might sound the exact opposite of badass, but going out of your way to be kind is a lot harder than being passive or simply tolerating the people you encounter. It definitely goes against the flow and takes grits and guts! ESPECIALLY, when others are not being easy to deal with! And you know what, being kind can be uncomfortable at times but…
Being uncomfortable is badass!
Doing things for other people, even though they are inconvenient or make you uncomfortable, is so badass. Not only is it badass, but it pushes us to grow and challenge ourselves. For example, my friend went out of her way last week to buy a prepaid MasterCard for a homeless man she saw while driving. Was this convenient? No. She had delay her plans, go get the MasterCard, turn around, find the man again, and then approach a stranger she had never met. This pushed her out of her comfort zone. However, she said this man was so grateful and in disbelief that someone would do that for him. It was worth it!
Finding a passion and purpose is badass!
Rather than being complacent in life, find what you deeply care about, and then pursue it! This goes hand-in-hand with following your dreams, which I have written on the importance of in a previous post (check out “I Had a Fedora – Get Over it”). We cannot continue to not care. When we have passion and purpose, we then have something to stand up for! We can find our voice and use it. Which brings me to my next point:
Using your voice is badass!
When we use our voice to stick up for the underdogs, or to bring awareness to something we are passionate about, we can make a difference in the world. Using your voice, especially when it goes against the norm or is controversial, can be nearly impossible. It takes extraordinary amounts of grit and guts. However, when we speak up for what we believe in, when we speak up against injustice, persecution, or oppression, and when we speak up for something that has changed our lives; we can encourage others, make a change, and help other find their voice (and we all know finding your voice is hard). Putting yourself in front of the hate directed at others and standing up for something is badass.
Owning who you are is definitely badass!
We all know that being your-authentic-self is hard! There are so many outside influences telling us who we should be. We have teachers, friends, and family members who tell us how we should act, what we are good at (and not good at), and what we should do with our life. We have social media constantly reminding us of what we are not and what we should be. It is hard to remember who you truly are, what you want out of life, and what is important to you. Ignoring those voices and sticking to who you are is badass.
People who attempt to do these things (and more) are what I define as badass.
Sometime last week, I had a friend send me an article about a woman in the Victorian era (mid-1800’s) who went into brothels (even though at that time it was extremely looked down upon for a lady of “proper upbringing” to do so). This lady not only went into the brothels and saw the terrible conditions, she also fought for more regulations and better treatment of the women who worked there. She went out of her way to help prostitutes even through it was extremely socially unacceptable for her to even associate with prostitutes. She fought to end human trafficking, to end child prostitution, and so much more. THAT IS BADASS! (If you want to read the article I will try put a link at the bottom or you can google her name: Josephine Butler.)
I think that we need to redefine what being a badass is, because it is a lot more than some of us believe it to be. Let’s stop wasting our time striving for the shallow copout of being badass.
Let’s actually be badass.