The Student Prints

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The Student Prints

The Student Prints

Why you shouldn’t Identify as a certain STEREOTYPE

Off of the top of your head, how many “stereotypes” can you name? Probably a few, right? Stereotypes are everywhere, and a lot of people naturally fall into one or a few – even if they don’t mean to.

Every high school has cliques – the popular kids, the athletic kids, the smart kids, etc. Each clique might act and dress a certain way and talk to the same people. But when it comes down to the individual, do we really belong in these groups? Should we identify as a particular stereotype? 

Everyone naturally falls into a stereotype, whether it’s the way they dress, what they own, or what they do, even if they don’t mean to. Many people fall into a typical stereotype. Women’s winter stereotypical teenager normally looks like a girl in leggings or ripped jeans with a sweater and boots on and a cup of hot coffee from Starbucks in hand. Many girls do this without realizing it, which puts them into a stereotype they didn’t know they were a part of. Everyone just naturally falls into a stereotype, but the question is, should we identify as one?

Identifying as a certain stereotype closes you in. It makes you feel like you have to be a certain way and do certain things. Having a fixed identity might make you feel like a “part of the crowd”, but is it really worth it? Identifying as a certain stereotype takes away personal identity by boxing you in. It doesn’t allow you to be yourself fully because you’re trying so hard to fit in with everyone else, and that leads to less diversity among teens. 

Stereotypes can also be harmful. They can lower body positivity, self esteem, and confidence. Being a certain way can become engraved in our minds and we strive to be like the image people show us is considered “right”. With stereotypes comes an automatic “class system”. If you aren’t a part of a stereotype, you’re considered “lower” – and that’s not something that should be acceptable. Stereotypes block people in, and we automatically judge others and fill in the gaps about others based on the natural stereotype you feel they fall under and your impression of others in that said stereotype. 

Stereotypes are natural everywhere. No matter where you go, there will be certain stereotypes that people live up to, but identifying as that stereotype is something that can box you in. It’s better to live up to your own expectations and not to others, even if everyone wants you to be different.

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