Stereotypes: Do They Affect You?

January 21, 2009
If you don’t already know, a stereotype is a generalization that is usually exaggerated or oversimplified and is often offensive to distinguish a group.

Imagine this: A middle aged man who is a hard worker and finished college with a degree in management. He applies for a job as a gas station manager for a major gas station company. He is the most qualified out of all the other applicants yet does not get the job. You may ask why he doesn’t get the job. I’ll tell you why. This is because he’s Arab and comes from a country that America is at war with.

This situation is only one of the many stereotypes that occurs everyday. Just because someone is of a certain ethnicity or religion, that doesn’t mean you can stereotype into groups.

Stereotypes are hurtful and most of the time untrue. Her are some examples of stereotypes:
Every Arab is a terrorist
Every Hispanic person is Mexican
Every white American is rich
Every white Southerner is racist
All Blondes are stupid
Every Hispanic person in America is an illegal immigrant
Every German is a Nazi
Every British person has messed up yellow teeth

These are only a few of the harmful stereotypes that are out there in the world.

If you’ve ever been the victim of a stereotype, which is a good probability, you know that they can cause you to do unnecessary things. They could make you lash out in rage or even confront that person face to face.

The chances are that if you stereotype someone more than once and mean it that could push them to do something irrational. America was built on the whole idea of “freedom” and “freedom of religion”. Yet, no one really accepts that and there is still segregation everywhere, whether it’s religious or ethnicity wise.

I have pretty light skin and no one would ever guess that I’m a Muslim or even Arab. My dad has pretty dark skin has been a Muslim all his life. I was also born a Muslim. My mom has light skin and that’s where I get my green eyes, my red hair, and my light skin from. If you saw me in the streets and I told my background, you’d probably think I’m lying. People always ask me if I’m a terrorist or if I know any when I first meet them. I always say no but they never believe me. The word terrorist means someone who causes terror or frightens others. The truth is, stereotypes give us ideas and push us to believe things that aren’t true.

Most people are affected by stereotypes and really don’t know it. There is really no person in this whole world that isn’t affected by stereotypes. Because of stereotypes, we don’t have quality of life. And without quality of life we can’t enjoy life. This is one of the main reasons people do not get along with each other and why people are separated by what they look like or by ethnic background. If we abolish all stereotypes we will finally be able to enjoy life without hate and without conflict. So, I ask you, can we do it?

Join the Discussion

This article has 49 comments. Post your own now!

Breck said...
Feb. 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm
This is a great article, I am from Apache descent, and I am extremely tan. Due to that, I am frequently called "the Mexican" in the small town I live in. And most think me and my family are illegal immigrants.
MakeADifference0129 said...
Dec. 27, 2015 at 2:16 am
I am trying to write a blog post on stereotyping. Any advice? Tips? Anything!
mohundis said...
Sept. 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm
i am also muslim and thank you for writing this. It shows me i'm not the only muslim stereotyped out there.
sassyunicorn said...
Feb. 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm
I get stereotyped all the time, this article explains perfectly how I feel.
jihunheex08 said...
Nov. 26, 2014 at 7:10 am
stereotypes are not always negative there are just as many positive ones as negative ones, if i say all asian girls who are 20 to 30 are pretty thats a positive stereotype, it's a stereotype because I said asian (racism) girl (sexism) and ages 20-30 (ageism) and that was a positive statement. 
Jamine1233 said...
Nov. 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm
I really like your article a lot. It was great. I wish I included that in my essay about stereotyping.
AlissaLaureano said...
Apr. 11, 2013 at 11:25 am
A stereotype is an exaggerated generalization of a particular group.  Steretypes exist for every group of people, and we are all probably steretyped in one way or another.  Stereotypes can cause you to do things like "lash out in rage." But they can also cause you to do other things that might be even worse because of stereotype threat.  Stereotype threat is when a person confirms a negative stereotype because they think that is what is expected of them.  This could... (more »)
epic_rage_mastah said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm
great article. im jewish, so most people assume i have tons of money i dont want to spend. in reality, whenever i get money i spend it on the most random crap i can find.
Santa said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 9:47 am
everybody says azns all have chinky eyes. i beg to differ
SeasonalFog said...
Dec. 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm
The word "quality" is used incorrectly in the last paragraph.
tabby17 replied...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm
i think they meant innequality
kaleidoscope_girl said...
Jul. 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for posting this! People really need to stop sterotyping based on looks. I live down south in a county where everyone who isn't white, black, oriental, east Indian has to be "Mexican" and speak Spanish. It's so annoying, especially since I'm only half Hispanic.
SRHouck said...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm
Wow thats really sad that people dont believe that. I understand how that is though i am half white and half hispanic and people always think that all my family is here illegally but all of them were born here in America.
Lex2011 said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm
I'm sooo glad you posted this article because I'm mized
(black and white) but most people just say I'm black which is expected but ever since I moved I have received many stereotypes. I went from a school with only 3 mixed people( the rest were white) to a school with many different races and at my new school, I'm always stereotyped. It's ridiculous.
KayKay:-) said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 8:34 am
My grandparents and mother are purely Cuban, but I have blonde hair (my dad is American and i look like him). So, according to stereotypes, I am a stupid illegal immigrant who just might be Mexican. Fun. LOL.
Turtledove7 said...
Sept. 30, 2010 at 9:41 am
I think its really sad to see people discrimnating against hispanics or anyone let me know if you feel the same way.
PurpleFeather said...
Sept. 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm
This is a very good article, but why didn't you list any stereotypes for black people? There are only a million out there, probably more than there are for any other groups. I don't understand how you could write an article about stereotypes and discrimination, and not mention anything about the biggest minority in America.
Kamal A. replied...
Sept. 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm
Oh I am so sorry, I was recently in a stereotypical situation at the time and I didn't think anything through. It just flowed and I didn't read it over. That probably would have made my article 100% better.
Acheron said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 2:19 am
I've had to deal with stereotyping since i was five and moved to my current home which is in a nice town just outside a big city in the south and im the top ranked student every year but sadly ppl think i cheat since im*sarcastic gasp* black. So yeah i get all these comments like"Dont u think u should be out in the fields picking my cotten"and that gets me super ticked so i joined the student law club at school and im now the most important person to students who suffer from stereotypical abuse.... (more »)
emjay1216 replied...
Oct. 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm
I know right? I'm black, but i talk like a, *sarcastic gap* --i'm gonna borrow that btw--white girl...i'm adopted, and my parents are white.  The kids at school who "act black" make fun of me...its so stupid.
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