Stereotypes are a part of our everyday life. We hear stereotypes every day and everywhere. Sometimes we can find ourselves in a situation where we make stereotypes for a large group of people. Every person, young or old, is labelled with either positive or negative stereotypes. Stereotyping is a way that people group each other. Each group is called by name, but the stereotype doesn’t really fit to everyone in that specific group. Stereotypes affect people’s social lives, emotions, and how people interact with their environment. There are times that we are not so open to the idea of meeting new people, and making new friends. We don’t want to go outside of our homes, because we have own set of rules in this world. We know that we get criticized about what we wear every single day! When I was younger I moved to Idaho. On my first day of school, my first class had a segment where we all introduced ourselves and told everyone where we came from. I told everyone I was from California. Every single person thought I smoked weed because after that day a lot of other students would either invite me to smoke or ask if I had weed to sell. For every group assignment we had, no one wanted to be my partner and my professor would always stare at me because she thought I was always high.
This really killed my motivation to want to come to class. After about a month into class I decided to stand up in front of the class and literally yell at everyone including the teacher. I said that it was unfair how I was being treated and never getting a chance to show everyone who I really was. I also said I was going to tell the principal about this whole situation if I didn’t start getting treated fairly. Maybe I was wrong for threatening but I didn’t know what else to do at the time and I really wanted everyone to know how I felt. I hate how stereotyping still goes on in our lives today. People really don’t know the affects it has on one another. We are stereotyped because of the music we listen to, how we look, how we act, and who we hang out with. We are also criticized on every other personal trait and imperfection we have. We cannot afford all the stereotyping that is going on between us. If we say to a person that he or she is a hippie, just from the way they are dressed, this is totally wrong. A hippie is someone who rejects the culture, not just the one who has long hair and wears beads. We are using words that describe others in the wrong way. There are many people that have no friends, because they are tired of their label. We should leave these labels behind and don’t let stereotypes ruin your social life.
Being stereotyped had an enormous impact of how I carry myself. Even though I knew my classmates were wrong about me, I felt I could later avoid this misconception if I cleaned up my appearance. For instance I let my hair grow out. I always had just a regular buzz cut that made me look like a gang member. I didn’t choose this hairstyle for any particular reason except for the fact that I liked the way I looked. My clothes changed dramatically. I stopped wearing clothes that were too big for me and started wearing slim fit clothes because at the time that was what was in style for men to wear. I even changed the way I talked. Being from Southern California, I had grown up using a lot of the slang that was used by my friends that I was around in the neighborhood. I noticed that after I changed my appearance, the way I was treated throughout my day changed. I was receiving a lot more respect in the things I was talking about and in what I did. I had realized that making those changes were not only necessary because of when what happening to me in class but it was time for a change so that the people I say everyday would take me serious in everything I do.
In a way I am glad I had that experience because if I didn’t it would have taken me longer for me to change my style in clothing. Changing my style also had an effect on how I carry myself and how I act in front of other people so let’s just say I learned how to respect people from a different point of view. Furthermore, there are times teachers question their students “Did I create a good environment, so that you can be able to talk and share ideas with the rest of your class?” Well, sometimes teachers cannot change this situation. The only people that can create a comfortable and happy atmosphere are the students. They are many stereotypes going in and out of every classroom. That’s why sometimes students can be afraid to share ideas, because before they were stereotyped as nerds.
These days’ people are afraid to be themselves, because they fear other people will reject the way they are and make you feel like an outcast. They don’t want people to think something bad for them. Secrets, thoughts, and ideas, are all held down. Stereotypes can be an obstacle as to how open you are with people and how you make people feel when you are with them! Instead of focusing on all the mistakes of each person, which some people do, we should start paying more attention of how unique each person is. Stereotype causes people to feel lonely and even sometimes depressed. It’s also harmful for their environment and their social life. We should keep stereotypes out of the picture, even though sometimes we can be victims ourselves. Stop judging people before you even get to know them.