Stereotypes: Offensive, Harmful, and Discriminative

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People with different characteristics are discriminated against.Different people not fit the demands of society.Signs of discrimination against people.Too old,too fat,too young,too hight.Vector flat

“All old people drive slow.” “All fat people are just obese and unhealthy.” “All Asians are smart and good at instruments.” “All Americans are fat.” “All blonde girls are dumb.” “All Indians like spicy food.” All of these are very common ideas and are believed by many people. However, these have all been proven wrong by some victims of the stereotypes. It proves that one cannot trust rumors or assume things about people who they haven’t gotten to know. Unfortunately, stereotypes can cause people to have biases or discriminate against others for their appearance or background. 

A stereotype is prejudice made about a group of people. The stereotype would represent everyone in the associated group, whether it is a positive or negative idea. However, not everybody is the same. Though certain people may be connected in some way, it does not mean that they are exactly alike. They may share an interest, background, or culture, but there is more to them than just that. A person could be bound to a group by one mutual quality, one of many different characteristics that the rest of them don’t have.     

People can be labeled or defined by a stereotype for their gender, race, religion, certain qualities they have (both physical and behavioral), people they are associated with, activities they participate in, and more. To believe something about them based on a single thing, whether it was their choice or not, is not always accurate. Even if the stereotype is true, it is still discriminatory to define them by it. It may be true, but they have other qualities and traits that aren’t highlighted because the stereotype draws all of the attention.          

Stereotypes can be harmful because they might be derogatory and offensive, suppress individuality, and people might try to change themselves to fit the stereotype. Several stereotypes lead people to assume that certain people are involved in generally-scorned activities, emotions, and thoughts. When rumors spread, people might treat the associated group badly or unfairly and look down upon them for something that may or may not be true. It would also be extremely degrading for the victims of the stereotype to hear terrible things about themselves. 

Secondly, stereotypes get rid of a lot of diversity and uniqueness in communities and societies. Especially in the media, representation and diversity make people feel included and seen. If all of the idols and influencers looked and acted the same way, even only in a certain group, the blissful thoughts disappear at the realization that everyone is the same. Having things in common with other people is not unusual, but it is impossible to find people who are exactly alike. However, stereotypes limit how much people can reveal of themselves. For a sense of unity, they might hide their differences and only display what qualities they share with others. It implies that if one is different and does not fit the stereotype, they are not accepted or welcomed. This is a terrible idea to put into people’s minds because even if they fit the stereotype, a person is more than just that. Many choose to celebrate and support the differences and diversity of their groups, but stereotypes just suppress individuality. They are most harmful to people who do not fit the stereotypes. Peer pressure, or feeling like one must change or do something in order to be the same as others around them, robs people of freedom and self-expression. People who don’t fit a stereotype while others around them might feel isolated and lonely. They might struggle to live up to expectations or positive stereotypes and try to alter themselves to fit in. Stereotypes eradicate confidence and make people feel like they don’t belong in their groups.

Overall, stereotypes are not acceptable. Disheartening, insulting, and discriminatory, they tear apart social groups and are very harmful emotionally. They are not reliable, for if even one person defies it, it is not true.