Fall Prey or Stand Up!

February 12, 2012
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We all have our stereotypes, though it is our choice whether or not to fall prey to them or stand above them. We all fall prey at some point and sometimes it is easier to just go with it than it is to accept or even forget about it.
When we fall prey to stereotypes we are falling prey ourselves; we are putting ourselves down.
This is not true for all, but for some it is and for those it is difficult.
Over break I met a young woman who was continuously stereotyped for her looks, how she dressed and of course her unique personality. This young woman knew what people said about her and even made the comment, “I don’t like when people talk about me.” She really didn’t, and she said it many times but actions are louder than words. Her actions did not help her in any way of protecting herself from the stereotypes against her. This young woman wanted to change and she did try but she always fell back on the stereotypes therefore giving those who stereotyped her fuel to stereotype even more.
We have our ways and they are not always accepted but stereotypes aren’t something you can quit in a split second it takes courage to really face up to it and take a stand.
I met another young woman who accepted the stereotypes aimed at her race. If someone made a comment she would simply reply with laughter saying “yeah so?” or some other sarcastic remark. When I asked her about she just laughed and told me a few stories and how she responded. I had to smile; her courage to face a stereotype was remarkable and admirable. She took a stand and took the stereotype and used it for her own benefit. She knew what people said about her race, but she chose to not let what they said affect her negatively. She took a stand and turned a negative to a positive and went on with her life.
We have a choice, fall prey to the stereotype and let it lead our lives or turn a negative comment to a positive one and go on with our lives.
Curious, I asked, “Whose comment is more important to you, your own or someone who stereotypes you?” The response was,“ I think other people’s opinions matter more to me because I know what I think and I know what my opinions are and I don’t know what others thoughts are and whenever they express them to me then I know what they think of me and whether that matters is situational. When the other people say negative comments to me or about me I just say ‘yeah, you don’t matter’, but depending on the comment I decide whether it is going to affect me or not.” -anonymous.
We all have a choice, be stereotyped or live our lives. Sad, part is we will always be stereotyped but our biggest choice is to accept or deny.

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