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Seventh grade French. We had a substitute, a nice elderly man. I was sitting with my friend and she was being giddy and goofy as usual, laughing all class period. He walked over to our table and looked at me. I could see in his eyes that a joke was about to erupt. But I wasn’t expecting what he actually said. He looked at me and mumbled, “Is she always like this?”
Then, arms crossed, he declared, “It’s because she’s blonde, isn’t it?”
Shocked, I looked back at him and said, “What!?” In response, he whispered, “You know, blondes are much smarter than they were back then.”
I wanted to scream at him.
I wanted to tell him, and the rest of the world, that the color of what’s outside of our heads does not at all define what’s inside.
A stereotype is a statement believed through a large group that does not have to be true. Those statements aren’t always true but the torment given to the victims is real. It doesn’t hurt like falling off of the top of a tree to the bottom of the trunk. It hurts like falling from the top off your self confidence to the bottom of despair.
Summer of 2016. I was at my friend’s house and she decided to tell me what was on her mind. Her so called friend texted her to ‘let her know’ that her boyfriend was gay. Because apparently, any male associated with theater or dance must be gay. Because that’s just how it works, right…? And any female who wears masculine clothes must be lesbian and any man who wears skinny jeans must be gay, too. Because that is one of the stereotypes of today’s world.
6th grade lunch… the table was full, so my friend and I sat at a different table. Granted, we were alone, but we didn’t care. I don’t remember exactly what happened but one girl came over, seeming to be seething with hatred, and said, “She called you guys lesbian.” Back then I was shocked at what she said but now I’m shocked at how she said it.
More often than not, people are using these words and adjectives as swears that are stabbing others like swords. They say, “No, she’s black.” “No, he’s gay.” “No, she’s blonde.”
Stereotypes can be hidden in any conversation. Most of the time, it’s unintentional and meant to be as harmless as water off a duck’s back. To the person you’re saying them to, it could be the exact opposite.
Stereotypes cause the wounds of this world that can never heal.
They cause the fights of this world that never end. People shouldn’t have to be struggling for their proper spot in this world. Full of respect and no rules about who they have to be… But is that what they get?
No, because humankind is so ignorant it can’t see that everyone is their own person. Instead, they all get the people who are stuck in the old days and think anyone who isn’t a white, American, middle aged man must be a piece of absolute garbage.
A stereotype is a statement believed through a large group that does not have to be true. It shouldn’t be true. Let these rotten statements not be true and you will be surprised how much this world will change in the blink of an eye.
But what do I know? I’m just a stupid blonde.