On looking different & in memory of Sophie Lancaster - mo'adore: cruelty-free beauty ∙ vegan food ∙ glasgow/dundee lifestyle

26 November 2013

On looking different & in memory of Sophie Lancaster



Today would have been Sophie Lancaster's 27th birthday. For anyone not from the UK or anyone who wasn't watching the news in 2007, Sophie Lancaster met death at age 21 for nothing more than being a goth.

The charity set up in her name, S.O.P.H.I.E, is one that I have backed for a long time now. You can tell by looking at me that I don't belong to any subcultures and therefore have escaped any prejudice for how I choose to dress myself. However as far back I can remember I have never ever been able to understand any of the hatred people who look different have had to endure.

I'm sure we've all been vocally judged on at some point due to the way we look. Whether it's because we've chosen to get tattoos. We're happy being pale. Have a piercing somewhere other than our ears. Maybe we like wearing tracksuits all the time. Someone who told you that you looked better before you lost the weight. Or your new fringe makes you look younger. For having colourful hair. For having naturally ginger hair. Or questions about why you would choose to be ginger. Or maybe that day you decided to go to work with no make-up on and someone pointed it out.

Those kind of comments bug the shit out of me (clearly I'm being eloquent this evening). Despite my personal preferences when it comes to my own physical appearance I leave everyone else to decide what works for them, and keep any opinions on their tattoo choices or baggy trousers to myself. I have friends who look vastly different to me - alongside girls who own too many lipsticks, I have female friends who don't know what a 'colour correcting concealer' is, I have male friends who know exactly what that is and actively use it, I have friends of both sexes who don't fight their facial hair and I also have friends who definitely fall into the 'subculture' territory. What matters to me is what lies beneath that: loyalty, coming through for me during a difficult time, a lack of dramatic tendencies and someone I can have a natter with about pop culture.

Actively commenting and sneering at the way someone chooses to dress their body and belonging to a subculture has never made a grain of sense in my mind. Let alone murdering someone over it.

S.O.P.H.I.E now exists to keep Sophie's memory alive and stamp out the stigma aimed at subcultures within the UK. Sophie's mum travels the country speaking at schools and encouraging others to respect those who belong to alternative subcultures to make sure this crime is not repeated.

Maybe you wouldn't murder someone for being a goth but ask yourself honestly if you still hold prejudice for those in an alternative subculture? Do you nudge your friend when a punk walks by? Look down your nose at someone who dresses 'like a chav'? Told someone with a bright hair to their face that you don't like it? (From my days of having pillar box red hair at 15 I can tell you some people really do this). You're still adding to the prejudice that surrounded Sophie's murder.

The point of the charity and this blog post is to remind you to think twice before judging someone for the way they look, and stamp out the stigma towards subcultures.

 Morag

Photo from Illamasqua, who have been big supporters of the charity.

4 comments :

  1. Such a beautifully written post. I could not agree more with what you said - it's sad how we're brought up around this and I'm 15 and know better than to judge people on what they look like. People should just leave people how they want dress/what they want to look like because at the end of the day, it doesn't affect our own personal lives.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    xxElise - www.elisedopson.com

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    1. Thank you :) At 15 I understood just as well as I do now that people shouldn't be judged on how they look. Even had a few arguments with my parents over that kind of stuff haha.

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  2. Great post. I was a goth many moons ago, but luckily it was reasonably (un)fashionable to be one at the time! I hope I have brought up my kids to know that they shouldn't judge people on their appearance.

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    1. I was an emo kid some time ago but it was thankfully quite cool at the time (at least on the internet). I'm sure you've done fantastic with your kids, I just hope many other parents have tried their hardest too!

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