Published on Saturday, November 19, 2011 by Yvette Ybarra
Our generation cannot live without music. Any place you find teens, you’ll also find iPods in their hands and headphones in their ears. One thing you see often, though, is that music often creates groups that people feel they need to fit into, based on the wide variety of genres people enjoy.
For example, kids that listen to bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, Disturbed, or Metallica often get put into groups labeled as “emo” or “gothic” and can even be seen as troublemakers. This is similar to kids who listen to artists such as Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, or Brooks & Dunn. Being labeled as country or redneck, these kids are imagined to dress with boots, a lasso, and a cowboy hat, but that’s not always the case.
Music has defined the way we see people, but my question is: why?
If you were talking to someone on the phone or on the internet, and they told you they listen to a specific kind of music, most assume a stereo-typical version of that person.
Just because someone listens to a considerable amount of rap music, doesn’t mean they have a “gangster” attitude. Seeing others based on the music they listen to gives a false perception of who these people really are.
I know because I’ve been there.
During my 8th grade year, I had found the musical styles of Slipknot and fell in love. As I listened to their music, I began to notice my sudden interests in darker clothes, scarier make-up and the color black.
One day at school, I was jamming to “Spit It Out” when a boy came up to me and asked if I wanted to skip school with him to go smoke. I was shocked at his question. When I told him I didn’t smoke, he was surprised. As he walked away, I heard him say, “Well, you just looked like the type.” I froze in my seat.
Later, I walked into the girls’ bathroom and took a good look in the mirror. I didn’t even recognize myself. Even though my outward appearance had changed, I was still the same person I had always been.
Music is a way people express themselves, but music also expresses itself through us. We judge people by their music because the music can change them, but this experience also showed me that it doesn’t have to. It’s been a while since I’ve dressed in all black and wore the scary make-up, but one thing hasn’t changed: “Pulse Of the Maggots” is still my favorite song from Slipknot.