This I Believe

Katy - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in defying stereotypes.

People often label other people before really getting to know them because the human brain likes to fit every person into a personality category. This is a stereotype; often stereotypes are incredibly negative and make people not want to know you better. For example, in movies, honors students and math club members are stereotypically portrayed as homework loving nerds with pasty white skin and no fashion sense. They bring sack lunches every day that have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a juice box. Personally, I have never met one of those people, and I don’t think I ever will.

I am an honors student, but I don’t have pasty white skin (as far as I know), and I would like to think that I have a good fashion sense. I abhor homework and like school, because I get to see my friends. I don’t listen to classical music like a stereotypical honors student; in fact I prefer alternative rock and hip-hop. I think that I am nothing like Hollywood’s stereotypical honors student.

Also, I am a year round swimmer. People who think that honors students only ever do homework and have no physical ability need to stop watching Beauty and the Geek and reenter the real world. Sometimes “nerds” don’t play sports very well, but sometimes they do, even if that sport isn’t soccer, football, or basketball.

Nowadays, if you are smart, you are expected to believe that it is impossible for you to be popular. That is what happened to me. When I entered middle school I was a pudgy, glasses wearing little girl with mousy brown hair, who had a long unfulfilled dream of being relatively popular. I would watch the popular girls during lunch,

sometimes wishing that I wasn’t as smart as I was so that I could hang out with them. In seventh grade I realized that I could be both. I got some new clothes and started to hang out with different people. I soon discovered that a lot of people in the popular group were smart too. That was when I realized that the popular kid stereotype too was just that, a stereotype.

I am so much happier as I am now, since I defied the stereotype of the honors student. I now know that stereotypes are labels that you don’t have to conform to, and that if you have the self confidence to be who you want to be, be that person, not who the movie industry says honors students should be. Everyone knows that not everything in the movie business is completely true, so I don’t see why stereotypes are viewed that way. I believe in defying stereotypes because every person is individual and has their own life to live, not the life people expect them to have based on brain power or anything else.