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Let’s Talk Hypocrisy

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Hypocrisy, while most are familiar with the word, is defined by Merriam-Webster as behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel. Some synonyms of “hypocrite” are pretender, deceiver, plaster saint, sham and fake. Admittedly, everyone’s probably been a hypocrite at least once or twice, but what makes this an issue is that self-righteous individuals will use their so-called morals to shame other’s actions, beliefs or preferences.

Not practicing what you preach; lacking the willpower to live up to your own ideals; behaving in ways you obviously know are wrong — these are clear moral failings.

However, a research from Yale University would suggest that the real reason why people disapprove of hypocrites is because of the misrepresentation and misconceptions others will have regarding their behavior. It almost seems as if while a hypocrite shames someone else, the hypocrite is getting a free pass on their actions and what they do doesn’t seem as bad to themselves because they either prevented or persuaded someone to act a certain way. In fact, hypocrisy only hurts the hypocrite’s own moral ideals and says more about them than it does of who they were preaching at.

The aforementioned research would go on to say that people actually prefer those who will admit their own faults, for example, “you should let anyone be a fan of that band. I’ve gotten possessive too, but I realize that it’s wrong,” than “just let anyone like that band whether they’re a fan or not” even though the person has shamed others for liking their favorite band as well. Additionally, Tyler Tervooren presents nine tips and tricks to avoid being a hypocrite.

Just in case you’re still choosing to live in the dark and can’t let down your false image, here are some instances at which hypocrisy is in play:

One example is Taylor Swift’s feminism, in which her belief of the concept is very non-inclusive. Proclaiming one’s self as a feminist, apparently entitles one to some supremacy over others, in which they can do wrong, BUT here are some examples for what makes you not a feminist (as defined by other feminists): bringing down other girls based on their appearance, fashion, beliefs, actions, etc; gossiping; slut-shaming.

Another example is bullying. Directors, authors and producers-alike, have made many a number of films regarding the effects of bullying, one of which is the new series, 13 Reasons Why. People promote these tv shows, movies and documentaries to “get everyone involved” or “make sure you understand the message” or to “stand up against bullying”, but in reality, we have all bullied others (e.g. name-calling, gossiping, subtweeting, pointing out other people’s flaws, etc.) whether we admit it or not.

Last example is going against someone’s beliefs or preferences when in fact, you have probably acted the same way that person has. Calling people out for their “wrong” opinion does not make you a better person nor any “right” than that person you think you’re teaching a lesson to.

If you want to prove your point to someone, go right ahead, but don’t call them out when you’ve done the same thing; you’re not helping anyone, just being a hypocrite- just disproving your morality.

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Gabrielle Mendoza
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gabby is a 16 year old writer and occasional musician. gabby is probably interested in the same TV show, music, movie, video game or artist as you are. knock knock. who's there? helloimgabbyy@gmail.com

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