Pre-judgement and why it doesn’t matter

Elizabeth - Grand Canyon, Arizona
Entered on May 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

As a seventeen-year-old tall, relatively thin, blonde female, I have been pre-judged numerous times throughout my life. I’ve heard all the blonde jokes, and have received looks from people that seem to say, “What would she know? She’s just a dumb blonde.” I, along with many other people in this world have dealt with these circumstances day after day, month after month, and year after year. However, the stupid jokes and crazy innuendoes never seem to have bothered me. I would hear them and laugh because I knew that they did not reflect upon my individual life and character.

Five years ago, as a twelve-year-old seventh grader, I was very much in love with acting and stage performance. So, when I heard from a friend that Pro-Scout Talent Agency would be coming to Arizona to look for new and upcoming actresses, I was completely flabbergasted. I, along with two other friends decided to audition. One of my friends happens to look a lot like me, blonde, and blue-eyed. My other friend however, is a brunette with brown eyes. After the preliminary audition, only two of us made it to the next round. That’s right; the two blonde-haired, blue-eyed seventh graders would be going to Phoenix to audition at the next level. We were ecstatic!

Upon arriving back at school the following Monday, we jumped at the chance to share our exciting news with everyone. Most, gave their congratulations to us, and their apologies to our friend. However, there was one teacher who didn’t exactly express happiness. When she heard the news, she didn’t smile, didn’t say “congratulations”, and didn’t run over to give us a great big hug. No, instead she said (to the brunette) “Oh don’t worry honey, they only made it because they’re blonde and skinny.”

I can honestly say that what she said hurt. Here I am, a twelve-year-old student being pre-judged by a teacher. Someone who I looked up to and admired was saying these awful things about me. I believe that I am a good actress and deserved the position I was given. There is no way to know whether the judges favored people with blonde hair, and discriminated against brunettes. I hope such was not the case, but I guess we will never know.

After this extremely disappointing day, I went home and decided that it didn’t matter what this unbelievably rude teacher thought of me. What mattered was what I thought of myself. I knew that I made it to the next round because of my acting abilities and not just because I was blonde and skinny.

Now, five years later, I have been privileged to meet with various agents and send audition tapes across the country. I will graduate from high school at the top of my class, and hope to one day pursue a career in acting. Part of me wants to look back at that teacher and say, “Ha, look where I am now!” But I don’t need to do this because it doesn’t matter what she thinks. What matters most is what I think, and feel about myself. The next time I hear a blonde joke, I will laugh, not because the joke was funny but because I am living proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.