Stereotypes: Do They Affect You? | Teen Ink

Stereotypes: Do They Affect You?

January 21, 2009
By Anonymous

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?

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This article has 50 comments.

on Mar. 6 2010 at 6:08 pm
ChocolateThunder, Cayce, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
You are beautiful just the way you are

I am a skinny girl and people always ask me if im anorexic if i dont eat and it upsets me b/c im nt! Also i get picked on a lot b/c of my teeth and say things tht arent true! Many people do that and i dnt see why they just wont take the time out to get to know me for who i am! Many of the blacks at my school and other races are always talking down on mexicans and i tried to tell thim that people are people but they just wont listen! Once i went out with one and it became a huge deal and i gt picked on and still do because of it!

on Dec. 15 2009 at 10:51 am
peace_love_beauty PLATINUM, Florien, Louisiana
22 articles 35 photos 121 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

Me too. And when I sometimes don't eat a ton of food one meal, people freak out and are like,"Don't you eat? Are you, like, anoriexic or something?" And I'm not!

catmazing said...
on Dec. 8 2009 at 9:10 pm
catmazing, No, New York
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
This has been a bad time for me. Maybe if I'm lucky, tomorrow will be a better day.

In some parts of the world tomorrow is already today, and today is yesterday. If tomorrow is already today Charlie Brown, there's no way that tomorrow could be a better day.

You're a lot of fun to have around

I totally agree. I've always been really skinny and it's horrible. People constantly ask me about my diet, if I'm anorexic, or if I'm bulimic. People just don't get it sometimes.

on Dec. 8 2009 at 6:20 pm
awesome_poet BRONZE, Many, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 16 comments
i agree, stereotypes do effect people in many ways. but, can we really do anything about it other than not to judge people ourselves? i believe it's just a sad fact of life.

on Dec. 8 2009 at 12:03 pm
peace_love_beauty PLATINUM, Florien, Louisiana
22 articles 35 photos 121 comments

Favorite Quote:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4

I agree 100%! I myself haven't really experienced sterotypes, except for the simple, not-so-hurtful smart/nerd stereotypes, but I have seen the effects of it. I also think people may think (actually you mentioned this) that just becuase I'm a white Southerner I am racist and ignorant, but I'm really not. I think we need to open everyone's eyes to the effects of stereotypes.

on Dec. 8 2009 at 10:30 am
F(r)iend BRONZE, Rifle, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 16 comments
Many people were blind to the effects of stereotypes. We can thank Hitler for opening our eyes to the end result of such behavior.

on Nov. 24 2009 at 3:54 pm
TaylorMariee GOLD, Indianapolis, Indiana
17 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dont Tell Me The Sky Is The Limit, When There Are Footprints On The Moon.

I know, I am very offensive. I am an overweight person. I am glad that someone like you is a brave and bold enough person to stand up for everyperson that carelessly critize people. So i am very glad that you wrote this article. I get critizied alot because of my weight, and the truth about the sitiutation that other people seem not to take into consideration is that I have type 2 diabetes, and hyopthyrodism and insulin resistence with all cause weight gain.

Thank you very much.

on Sep. 11 2009 at 10:16 pm
NorthernWriter, Fargo, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only dead fish swim with the stream"

I'm Muslim as well and I have to say, ever since I've put on the headscarf, people's attitudes about me FLIP. I had heard about how people treat Muslims, but I never actually understood it until I wore the hijab, which is pretty much an advertisement on my head. There were some people at my school that thought I was Eskimo (and I don't even look Asian!) I have light tan skin and hazel eyes and people never really guessed that I was Arab. They thought I was Mexican, Native American, something like that. When I wore it, sometimes store staff speak extremely slow and assume I can't speak English, even though I was born in the US. Little kids are terrified of me and lots of them say "Look Mommy! Look at HER!" I feel the media makes them afraid of people like myself. In gym class as well: my teacher (male) seemed SO genuinely shocked when he learned I played Tennis. But answering your question: 'Course we can!

on Apr. 8 2009 at 7:24 pm
bubbagump96 GOLD, Frederick, Maryland
11 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A friend shares their umbrella. A best friend grabs it and yells 'Run, Forrest, run!'".

I'm not sure what the stereo type for this is, but everyone expects me to be fearless and always causing and getting into trouble. Nobody except close friends and family know that I love to read and write, know that I have a calm and dormant side; and that i do have fears.

Sorry, i'm emotional. But that was a great report! It made me think twice

Amyyy said...
on Feb. 18 2009 at 11:18 pm
omg!! I love your report! it's probably one of the best on here. Yes, i have been a victim to stereotyping. I'm goth. So, people assume I worship Satan and am a witch. Which is not true whatsoever. It's very hard for me to be who I want to be and who I am with people continuosly judging me unjustly. Thanx so much for that report! Waaay cool!