Rebels are either made by life's circumstances or born out of genetic lottery. I have always been proud that my rebellion came from both. I have identified with "Rebel" as a shorthand for my entire personality most of my life. It is only in my recent doctoral studies that I have finally come into close enough contact with philosophies, thinkers and research that make the faultiness of my "rebel" reality obvious to me.
The problem with rebellion is that there always has to be an empire to rebel against. And, in rebelling against the empire, we are only validating and upholding the existence of the empire. Thus, the rebel ends up supporting the very realities they are trying to deny. And, beyond that, the rebel ends up looking for empire everywhere and sometimes seeing it and even creating it where it does not yet exist.
This past year I have begun the long game of untangling my "self" from the identity of rebel because I'm exhausted from fighting a foe that is only another social construction born out of fear of the other (which leads to a need to control and dominate others). Identifying strongly as a "rebel" for most of my life has made me, at best... the kind of person who will push past societal expectations and do whatever the hell I want (which is often not actually a good thing but sometimes does feel pretty badass) and, at worst... the kind of person who is so scared and mistrusting of other people that she expects the worst from everyone she encounters. Being a "Rebel" is lonely and tiring and often kind of stupid.
And yet, the rebellion remains necessary because... paradox happens.
I no longer want to identify quite so strongly with the label of "Rebel" but I do -- and will continue to -- support rebellion from social constructs, mores and norms that are unnecessarily constricting of our freedom. Rebellion must strive to be an endeavor that seeks its own demise. Because the only way to win a rebellion is to create a new reality in which the empire no longer exists and therefore, the rebellion is no longer necessary.
Until there is no empire, there will be Bad Dog Rebel and my larger community project, The Rebel Body Collective but I am setting myself upon the task of helping create a world in which these names no longer make any sense.
is an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer; an ACE-Certified Group Fitness Instructor; a certified Yoga Teacher; a Certified Intuitive Eating Professional; and a degree-holding Health, Fitness Specialist. She lives in Frankfort, Michigan and owns Every. Body. Fitness and Yoga Studio.