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Breaking the Stereotypes

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Image by Lin Pernille PhotographyWhen people first meet me, they usually try to segment me one way or another. I’ve heard things varying from, “Oh, you’re so quiet! Are you shy?” to “You are so outgoing, I love it!” How do those things even match up? Why do we have to be one thing or another?

Let’s go into this further, shall we?

People after they get to know me will say, “You are so not what I expected” or something to the extent of that. They have often said at first, “I don’t know what to think of you!” and when I ask what that means (because honestly, what is that supposed to mean??), they say that they just don’t know how to categorize me… Whaaaat? Why do we need to categorize people? Very rarely have I met someone and they fit a stereotype to the exact description. And why do they have to? They don’t. But it makes life easier for us to stereotype people or judge them just by looking at them.

Many times have I thought something about someone when I first looked at them, and they turned out to be something completely different. So hey, I’m guilty too! But when you stereotype someone, you don’t give them a chance to show you who they really are.

Study Kids

Image by woodleywonderworks on FlickrPut ten kids into a classroom with a few toys and leave them be. They all start to talk and work together amongst themselves with the toys and play together.

They’re too young to judge or know stereotypes. They just go about their ways and find common interests. Let’s picture that with adults.

Study Adults

Put ten adults into a classroom with a few toys and they won’t move. They’ll look around and create ideas of the other people in the room. They might say something to their neighbor about what’s going on, why they’re there, but probably not.

Follow Up Lesson

What’s the difference between the kids and adults? It’s plain to see that we learn as we grow to judge people. We look at what they’re wearing, what their hair looks like, what their face looks like, how they act. Then we choose what stereotype they best fit. We best categorize ourselves, and then we talk to those who we think are most like us. Bam. True story!

Who Cares?!

Why am I doing this post? Mostly because I’m so tired of being judged as one thing or another. Why can’t I be everything that I am and not have to be grouped into one stereotype or another? I fight with this battle as a blogger because I want to be so many things to you guys, but I don’t want to confuse you. “Oh I thought she was a MOM blogger, but she like doesn’t even have kids!” Yeah, I’m aware. “Then how does she even know what kids like?” Really? I have to be a mom to know what kids like or how they think? I don’t have any nieces or nephews, neighbors, or youth that I mentor? Why do I have to be a mom to be able to write about kids? That’s just stupid.

“All she wears when I see her is yoga pants and baggy tops. She knows nothing about fashion.” Really? You’re right, a person can’t ever get out of jeans and bedazzled tops or else they are not stylish. I can’t imagine what Rachel Zoe wears to bed if this is the case.

Anyways, I’m getting carried away. The main point is, try to be less judgmental. Am I saying to stop stereotyping and just befriend everyone? No. I’m not. If you see a man running at you in a black ski mask and his hand in his front coat pocket, you have my permission to stereotype him as a crazy man and get your pepperspray ready.

What I am saying, is that just because you think someone might be one thing, give them a chance to show you whether you are right or wrong. Doesn’t that sound easy enough? Then why don’t we do it?

Food for thought.

Hearts,
Sarah

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2 thoughts on “Breaking the Stereotypes

  • April 15, 2013 at 10:58 am
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    Amen! I am tired of it too! I am a tall woman with short hair & no makeup, who loves wearing jeans with various blouses or t-shirts. I am not gay.

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