A stereotype is used to categorize a group of people. People don’t understand that type of person, so they put them into classifications, thinking that everyone who is that needs to be like that, or anyone who acts like their classifications is one. I find it hard to believe that in 2015 stereotypes are still very much a thing.
It doesn’t necessarily always have to mean something offensive but it definitely makes the person seem narrow-minded and ignorant when stereotypes are all they classify people as.
For example; I’m Irish. So when people who aren’t Irish find out I’m Irish the typical stereotype is that we’re all alcoholics. I find that actually really funny because coming from Dublin City where drinking is definitely one of the main social hobbies, I can somewhat agree. How and ever, because I don’t look like the stereotypical Irish person (pale skin, red hair, freckles, green eyes) people refuse to believe I’m Irish. Okay I get it I don’t fit the typical description but do you know how annoying it is being told you’re literally not who you know you are? I’m mixed-race. My dad is Caribbean which means I have tanned skin, black curly hair and exotic features. But when I lived in Ireland my whole life, my family are Irish, Ireland is where I consider home and I have the thickest Dublin accent EVER how are you gonna let stereotypes control your judgement.
Anyways, enough about me, ha ha.
I have to admit, growing up in Ireland I was definitely the out-cast at times. In Ireland I was known as black Danielle but in Canada I’m known as Irish Danielle (ironic, isn’t it?!) 😀 Ireland is 90% Irish people with the same beliefs, way of life, culture and most of the time way of thinking. So it’s really easy to fall into the narrow-mind of judgement.
But now that I’ve been living in Canada almost two years (20 minutes from downtown Toronto) I have been exposed to EVERY culture possible. Every person here comes from a different background with different cultures and beliefs. All of my best friends here are different; Spanish, Egyptian, American, Italian, Polish, German, Asian, Pakistan… the list goes on. But one thing we all have in common? WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
Stereotypes are a huge thing for younger generations that are easy fall into a category without even realizing. For example:
- If you listen to heavy metal/punk/indie music you’re automatically an emo or hipster
- If you wear revealing clothing you’re a slut
- If you like to read books and study you’re a nerd
- If you’re outspoken you’re a bitch
- If you’re black you’re a rapper
- If you’e blonde you’re a bimbo
- If you’re gay you’re weird
- Most of all if you’re different you’re a freak
ALL of these are stereotypes but stereotypes are the reason for a lot of bullying. If someone doesn’t fit in to what’s considered “normal” then they’re apparently an easy target for abuse.
Stereotypes will always exist and will never be changed in the mind of an ignorant person.
But what you have to do is BE YOU. Because there is no definition of what you want to be. Only you can choose that and you can accept how people define you, only you have the ability of doing that. Do you think people look at me and assume I have a loud Irish accent and crazy sense of humour? Hell no. 😉 But I refuse to fall into a stereotype- and so should you!
It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to. – W.C. Fields