Stereotypes: Do They Affect You?

January 21, 2009
By Kamal A., Aurora, CO

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?


Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 49 comments.


Breck said...
on 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.

on Dec. 27 2015 at 2:16 am
MakeADifference0129, Hanna, Wyoming
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I am trying to write a blog post on stereotyping. Any advice? Tips? Anything!

mohundis said...
on Sep. 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.

on Feb. 12 2015 at 3:53 pm
sassyunicorn BRONZE, Chatham, Other
3 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
'If you can imagine it, you can achieve it, if you can dream it you can become it':William Arthur Ward

I get stereotyped all the time, this article explains perfectly how I feel.

jihunheex08 said...
on 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...
on 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.

on 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 cause them to do worse at sports, or score poorly on a test.  If we know that stereotype threats exist, though, we may be able to stop the negative effects of stereotypes.

tabby17 said...
on Feb. 15 2013 at 2:28 pm
i think they meant innequality

bella_notez said...
on Jul. 26 2012 at 5:04 pm
You sound like many of the ignorant people they are describing here.. You can not base anything on the way a person talks. I guarantee you are not as proper as you are TYPING. I personally am a black jamaican and west indian girl who hates when ignorant people say things like this. LET THEM TALK HOWEVER they want to. IS evveerrryyy "black" person too cool for scool in your town? I doubt it.... The ignorance of our society today  (thanks to people like yourself)

GORT666 SILVER said...
on Mar. 23 2012 at 12:06 pm
GORT666 SILVER, Seattle, Washington
5 articles 0 photos 13 comments
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...
on Dec. 20 2011 at 9:47 am
everybody says azns all have chinky eyes. i beg to differ

SeasonalFog said...
on Dec. 4 2011 at 1:20 pm
SeasonalFog, Irvine, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Omne ignotum pro magnifico.

The word "quality" is used incorrectly in the last paragraph.

on Dec. 4 2011 at 8:16 am
onedirectionlover GOLD, Hampton, Virginia, Virginia
16 articles 3 photos 37 comments

The thing is, where I live it feels like the whole town is ghetto because all the "blacks" are "too cool for school" and talk like they're broken.

Ex. "I be going to the mall." "What time you be leaving you house?"

I wish they would speak proper English, it gets really annoying when they say, "You igerant" even though it's "You're ingorant."


on Jul. 25 2011 at 11:22 pm
kaleidoscope_girl BRONZE, Decherd, Tennessee
4 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You gotta put up with the rain to see the rainbow." (unknown)

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...
on 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 BRONZE said...
on Mar. 7 2011 at 7:35 pm
Lex2011 BRONZE, Washington, Pennsylvania
1 article 1 photo 11 comments
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...
on 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.

on Feb. 10 2011 at 9:53 pm
T.R.Trevino BRONZE, San Diego, California
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
'I cannot, nor will, recant anything, for it is neither safe nor wise to go against conscience.' -Martin Luther

If you think about any religion, you''l be able to think of at least one stereotype, I'm sure.

For example:

Buddhist are always calm and are at peace with the land.

Pagans are tree-huggers.

Athiest are evil.

And so forth. I try to discourage discrmination at my school, but it's like trying to stop a moving train.

Well, sorry for the slight rant.


on Oct. 28 2010 at 7:35 pm
MUSICisLIFE1429, Munster, Indiana
0 articles 3 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
Practice doesnt make perfect. Perfect practice make perfect.

omg my mom asked me if i was straight! shes always like, you know you can invite boys over too! im like mom relax its no big deal that i dont have boys over every day. i also say i love you to my friends that are girls! but its just a friend thing, like every other group has!

on Oct. 12 2010 at 1:32 pm
emjay1216 SILVER, Eugene, Oregon
6 articles 3 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
Often times, the test of courage is not to die, but to live.
~ Vittorio Alfieri

OMG....theatre rules!! I was friends with this senior last year who was lesbian, and everybody thought that about me too.  Now my family thinks i am just because i say 'i love u' tomy friends who just happen 2b gurls....whtever, let em think that...


SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!