Stereotypical Assumptions

Apr 15, 2010

Lately I've been wondering what makes a stereotype, and how do you know if you fit into it?? Most people pay attention to the way a person looks on the outside, and then sticks them in some random category according to it. I won't lie, I often do the same.

The Anti-Defamation League's "A World of Difference" Institute defines a stereotype as an oversimplified generalization about a person or group of people without regard for individual differences.

 If I see someone wearing a tucked in flannel shirt with a longhorn belt buckle and boots with honest to goodness spurs, yeah I'm going to think they're some country hick. Or I'll frequently see women with plastic breasts, collagen filled lips, and bleach blonde hair and I automatically think they're sluts. After I've judged all these people, I often wonder where the hell I fit. Some days I go casual, sporting worn jeans and a hoodie with my hair pulled into a half-ass pony tail. Other days I'll wear things such as an embroidered shirt that looks like it belongs to a porcelain doll and some khaki shorts. Then sometimes I look quite grunge with a torn up band T-shirt and jeans filled with holes from overuse. Still some days I'll choose to wear a nice dress and heals, or an outfit that makes me look like a rich snob. So if we all place people into stereotypical categories based on their outward appearance, does my label change according to what I wear? I'm horribly guilty of automatically assuming I know who a person is based on the way they dress, even though I know this isn't true. The sad thing about stereotypes is that they start to become extreme, and eventually it's no longer a harmless label you plaster across someone. Eventually it can become racism, completely judging a person based on their skin color. Americans are thought of as fat and greedy, African Americans are all assumed to be ghetto, and anyone from the Middle East is feared as a terrorist. Stereotyping people may seem harmless and sometimes entertaining, but it's often rude and ignorant of us to assume we know everything about a person based on the way they dress, how they act, or even the color of their skin.


The group i would put you in

Submitted by atar4989 on Thu, 2010-04-15 14:45.

The group i would put you in as one of those kinda metal chicks that isn't completely messed in the head.

That's great, but you don't

Submitted by alyssabird14 on Thu, 2010-04-29 18:56.

That's great, but you don't even know who I am. That's exactly what I'm trying to say with this post. People apply labels based on little information about a person or one simple glimpse, and then they make a judgement based on the stereotype they form in their head. I'm not even close to a "metal chick," but nice try.

I think that people should

Submitted by rbev1848 on Thu, 2010-04-15 14:47.

I think that people should just stop judging other peole, it doesn't matter what they look like, or what they wear, we're all the same on the inside. ex: a white person and a hispanic person. sure they're different on the outside, but are they really that different on the inside. A white person, and a hispanic person both have hearts, and organs. The only thing different on the outside is the color of their skin. It's just a color. For instance, the color blue and the color green it's just a color. It doesn't really mean anything. I also feel that people should just respect other people for who they are.

Alyssa- I really liked your

Submitted by KTHoskins on Sun, 2010-05-02 14:15.


I really liked your post because I always wonder the same thing about how we become labeled. I was watching America's Next Top Model the other day and thought of something from it that reminded me of this post. I know you see the show so you'll understand but I always notice that most black girls that make it on that show seem to automatically have to dominate themselves. It's like they have something to prove and just because their black they think everyone's out to get them so they have to pick a fight with every white girl in the house. They can't just relax and realize people really don't care about the color of their skin and their not going to be judged because they're dark. However I feel this is an issue because of past stereotypes about black girls being tough and having to stand up for themselves and not be pushed around but I also feel times have changed and now it's just a BS excuse to act the way they do. It's just really annoying and gets tiring. I think there are stereotypes because people think there has to be and we have to put a description on everything because if something wasn't defining someone then people wouldn't know who they were. If that makes any sense. It's like it becomes an identity and everyone needs one to be accepted. Another BS reasoning.

Thanks again for the post!