True Colors This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 23, 2009
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
The idea of “race” in the United States is based on physical characteristics and skin color, and has played an essential part in shaping our society. Stereotypes continue today as blacks are often portrayed as athletic, religious, poor, musically talented, and criminal.

I love rock music; Linkin Park and Sum 41 are two of the best bands right now. I recently picked up the guitar. I skateboard, I windsurf, and I speak with correct English. So I’m white? How ’bout this: I love fried chicken, I make Kool-Aid because it’s cheap, and I eat cereal when I don’t feel like cooking. Now what am I?

How can someone act like a color? Just because I skateboard, play the keyboard, or sound intelligent doesn’t mean I’m trying to act “white.” I’m just being myself.

I have a white friend who loves hip-hop and wears Bob Marley shirts. That does not mean she acts “black.” Whether I’m making rap music or playing Vanessa Carlton on my piano, I’m not trying to be or act like anyone else, just me.

I know no one wants to believe they are capable of stereotyping, but we all do it. When someone doesn’t fit a stereotype, people may say they are acting like someone else. But the coolest thing to do is be yourself and appreciate things that you honestly prefer. Forget those who think they know who you are and how you should act.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 12 comments. Post your own now!

Kikki said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm
i know what you mean. my entire family is white... except for me. people are always asking me what i am, it gets on my last nerve. the omly thing worse is when someone asks me if i'm mexican or how to say a word in spanish. i'm not mexican, i don't speak spanish, and i was born and raised in the united states. i am half hispanic (El Salvadorian), half white, and one hundred percent proud of who i am. i wish some people would grow up and realize that tan skin does  n... (more »)
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm
I agree. In fifth grade, a new girl asked my cousin if he "was from Mexico" because he has tan skin. He is half Venezuelan, and does speak fluent Spanish, but people still shouldn't stereotype (even though it's an automatic tendency for human nature)!
Venus_Queen said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm
This is really good! i love it! im white, and like all of my family is but my dads half brother. Hes half black and half white. But i dont know him that well because my dad dont want me around him because he aint just white. My dad dont like black people which i think is wrong. Im going with a guy that is half black and half white. But hes looks white. Well when my dad found out he told me i couldnt be with him because of that. But i told him i was going to be because i didnt care i love him! i ... (more »)
beautifulworld said...
Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:39 pm
yeah I'm known as the "oreo" at my school. I'm not the type to freak out over racist jokes but THAT really bugs me. It's basically saying if your intelligent you must be white and if your not, your black. It's so degrading. It's especially annoying when a black person calls me oreo.
Jatavion said...
Oct. 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm
this article was amazing. i've read plenty of stories about racism and stereotyping, but this is by-far the best i've read yet. great job ;)
SeptemberCrew This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm
Props for addressing an issue as it relates to you instead of using general terms to talk about problems in society.
AmnyR said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm
great article, you presented it differently than some people by showing the typical "black" and "white" sterotypes. great writting. i love fried chicken too :)
doverdrama said...
Jul. 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm
That sounds exactly the same as my school. I know I steryotype, but I'm trying to stop. Thanks for writing this!
Bethani said...
Jun. 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm
I feel you could've explained a bit more with the acting like a color.
Brandi K. said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm
i feel the same way. i know i stereotype. try not to but it tends to happen. yourself is the best way.
Blackrose12 said...
May 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm
I really liked this topic :) it opened me up more about race
Cricketts said...
Apr. 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm
I agree:] and I liked this article!
I always give everything I like 5 stars and don't rate the rest... I wonder if that ruins my crediblity?