The last time I checked, I was still a girl. There haven’t been any questions about the validity of that statement lately, but life for me would be much different if that did change before I checked again.
By most standards, I’m considered “blessed” based on my physical appearance: my small stature, breasts that don’t need to be pushed up, pearly whites, and ability to truly fill out Apple Bottoms have been envied by countless teen girls and full grown women for years now.
One set of eyes’ envy is another’s pleasure, so teenage boys and full grown men have ogled in awe, no matter how uncomfortable, disgusting, or disturbed it may have made me feel.
I believe every accomplishment I’ve had to date was a result from my brains, wit, and appealing charm. Those close to me believe my blonde moments are overshadowed by my outward, or physical, appearance.
Now I’ll admit that sometimes, the fabric around my neckline is a tad bit revealing. And yes, at times my slacks fit a little too snugly. Do these facts about me mean that my mental capabilities and morals should be compromised as well?
We could all sit down over a cup of cocoa for hours and debate the answer to this question. No matter what formula or version of yes/no anyone chooses, its basis will always boil down to one word: stereotypes.
Merriam Webster defines it as “a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment”.
For example, Caucasians that live in rural areas are all rednecks, every African American loves fried chicken and watermelon, and all Hispanics I’m sure you get the gist.
While many sociologists believe that mental categorizing is necessary and inescapable in our society, I feel it is just an excuse to cast judgment, or label people without truly knowing their character.
Think about it: is it right to assume that a student of Asian descent will be the smartest person in Calculus? Or every person from Jamaica practices the Rastafarian ritual involving ganja?
Although many may claim that these stereotypes have generally been true, each of us know at least one individual that breaks the mold. Think of me as a hammer.
The next time you see an African American listening to their iPod, or a person of heavy stature consuming a diet beverage, remember that they may not be trying to lose weight, or jamming to rap.
Don’t assume the table with four Jews at Denny’s won’t tip, or every high-heeled, semi-attractive woman with curvy features would gladly give up her goodies to every willing suitor.
These ideals only hurt our progression to a utopian society, something I’d love to see in my lifetime.
Need a direct example of broken stereotypes? Hi, my name is Adesuwa Omoruyi, I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and watermelon is utterly disgusting.