This I Believe

Emily - Flagstaff, Arizona
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Stereotype Me Not

Have you ever heard a rumor about yourself? Like, oh I don’t know, that you go to parties every weekend and get drunk, and you constantly “get with guys”? I have heard just that and more about myself on countless occasions and it hasn’t gotten any better in my short fourteen years of living. I guess I should start at the beginning…

I believe that there are too many stereotypes and rumors in this world. Growing up, I was friends with many different types of people. Nobody cared what I wore or how I talked (I talked with a lisp). My friends and I were all one group, and even though we didn’t have the same personalities or customs, cliques were an unknown factor.

I believe cliques are where stereotypes and rumors begin and I think it was fifth grade when cliques really became a big factor in my life. Soon people seemed to expect new things out of me based on the people I chose to hang out with. I was expected to dress a certain way, and speak a certain way, and when I didn’t, then the rumors began.

The stereotyping and rumors kicked into high gear about seventh grade. People just assumed things about me, and the majority of the assumptions were not true.

I have always believe stereotyping and rumors were wrong, but I became really against it when I started to understand it more as it continually happened to me. My friends were stereotyped and built up by rumors too and we soon realized that we would never stop “sailing in this sea of stereotyping and rumors”. What we also learned was that we couldn’t drown (although some of us did), we just had to learn how to build a stronger boat.

I think everyone is stereotyped in some way though. From the “jocks” to the “emo” kids, it seems that everyone has a label. It just seems that everyone will do anything to be “accepted” by whoever, whenever, no matter what that means.

I only hope that those who are hurt by the unkind words of others are thrown a life ring at some point out at sea. I believe there are too many stereotypes and rumors in this world.

Stereotype me not.