This I Believe

Kristen - Albany, New York
Entered on May 12, 2006

So what really is stereotyping? It’s more than one person or a group of people who are regarded to confrom into a set image, or type. It’s the way we group ourselves in the world it’s the way we hurt each other, it’s the way we know each others identities, the way we know who and who not to hang out with. It shows you which people you wouldnt rther not have your kids correspond with, right?

If you were to see me, you too would judge me on my clothes. No color just black t-shirts, with black sandals, a chain, and short hair. Think to yourselves right now, what are you seeing in me? Maybe you’re thinking I’m irresponsible, I’m disrespectful, I do drugs, I drink, maybe I hang out with the wrong crowd? The anwsers to all these questions are negative, surprising right? But lets take this a little farther. Imagine, what if I was wearing a white t-shirt with a pair of jeans, or a light pink skirt, with long hair pulled back? How would you react? Would it more sincere, would you take me for a real person? But let’s face reality; we’re all different people, with different styles.

Once again, you’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with a belief? My belief is how stereotypes aren’t any more than words. Has reality hit you; are you maybe thinking back on what you twll your kids, friends, co-workers? Can you really judge a book by it’s cover? The anwser is yes, seeing as we do have the freedom of speech, but just because we have the power to judge, should we? Kind of like, we have the technology to use arificial genes to make our children look exactly how we would like, but should we really? Would you get out of that? You’re anwser should be no, there’s just no point; you’d achieve nothing more than what you want, not what the child or other person wants. And that’s how you should feel about stereotyping. People are just being themselves, the way they want to live, so why don’t you let them?

I’m sure you all have heard it before, but do you really take it to heart? Unfortuantly, most people doubt me, and others who have tried to say this, and don’t take us seriously, but almost everyone in the world has had first hand experience of being conformed into an image that you’re not. They’re so many stereotypes out there in the world, and a lot of them are insane! Unfortuantly, a lot of judging and forming cliques happens in High School, especially mine Colonie Central High School. It hurts to think that people can judge you, before they know you. How can people hurt so many people without even knowing them!? But what are some of the stereotypes people even I face everyday, here are a few…

– I wear all black; therefore I must hate my life.

– I’m a cheerleader; therefore I must not talk to anyone outside of my clique.

– I’m athletic; therefore I must not be good at anything else in life.

– I listen to heavy metal music; therefore I must be doing drugs.

– I’m white, and listen to rap; therefore I must be a “wigger” that tries to hard.

– I’m black; therefore I must not get in trouble for anything.

I’m in the clique as I wear black; therefore I must hate my life. Which is completely not true, I live my life to fullest, and my friends so the same. It hurts knowing people don’t talk to you just because of a t-shirt you’re wearing. So you’re thinking, well why doesn’t she change? I’m not changing to make other people happy, I want to be happy, and myself. I’d rather have people dislike me for who I am, than love me for who I’m not. But, after a while it gets old, and it hurts. I come home some days crying. So, how about you hop into someone elses shoes, and you were stereotyped one of them, that wasn’t true. Would you feel bad? Do you meet all of the judgements of what people say about those stereotypes? Of course not. These stereotypes aren’t even close to being accurate, they’re almost as real as the models we see in magazines. So now ask yourself, how do you see others, including myself? Are you judging me, or did you get something real out of this? Did you realize stereotypes are nothing more than assumptions? God put us on Earth to live our lives through our own identity, not the identities people put us into. I believe stereotyping is nothing more than words, unfair thoughts, and cruel assumptions.