What does the name "Str8jacket" mean? | Kristie Lui


In a way, the intention of naming Str8jacket defines a couple of its core values of being creative and challenging standards. Fun fact! The name was actually originally spelled “straitjacket”, but one of the members at the time suggested using the “8” instead because it quote, unquote “sounded cooler”. So to really sum up the meaning of Str8jacket’s name, it was a way to self-define the team as creative and nonconforming while trying its best to be cool. Haha.

I find myself thinking a lot about the name Str8jacket recenty, especially because I ironically recently started working in the behavioral and mental health field, and in my work we actually discourage using terms that perpetuate the stigmatization of mental health illness and challenges. Of course the name Str8jacket tends to bring some images to mind of a “crazy” person locked up in an asylum. So I made an active choice to look at the name Str8jacket in more literal terms.

Literally, a straitjacket is something that restrains us. Oftentimes, we are much too caught up in our physical restraints i.e. weight, appearances, athleticism, etc, when in fact it is more of the mental restraints that we are really allowing to dictate our lives i.e. stress, fear, etc.

In best practice, it’s important we call out our mental restraints so that we can control them before they control us. Often we shy from our fears; avoiding them altogether, thinking that end result will somehow make us happy. But in my experience, true happiness comes from emotional freedom; knowing you have these mental restraints and recognizing that these feelings of fear, stress, and negative emotions make us as human as the positive ones. Because in truth without fear, we do not feel courage, without stress we do not feel peace, and without emotions -positive or negative, humans are just glorified water bags.

So to me this is what the name “Str8jacket” means. It’s a team that challenges its members' inner most fears and pushes them to face them head-on so that we're able to continually improve everyday. I rep the name Str8jacket with pride because it is my way of saying I am not allowing my mental restraints control the life I wish to lead.

 

Written by Kristie Lui, Str8jacket Member and Director

 

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Author

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Kristie Lui has been a member of Str8jacket since January 2013. Flash forward 4+ years and now the team's administrative manager, Kristie feels she owes so much of her self discovery and life opportunities to Str8jacket. 

Aside from dance, Kristie is a passionate advocate for mental health and wellness. She also loves dogs, The Office, noodles, reading non-fiction, and dogs.