Stereotypes are just harmful labels

BY: CLAIRE KIM

People often refer to a list of stereotypes as a catalog that provides a basic description of a certain group or population of people. In a sense, stereotypes are like labels that generalize individuals based off of the opinions of the general public. They create this standard that everyone in the group should achieve to be seen as acceptable in our society. A popular stereotype for Asians all around the world is that they are intelligent obtaining A’s as if its nothing and studying 24/7 day and night. Because so many people look up to this definition of being an Asian, it puts pressure on those who are Asian but are not as achieving as society expects them to. By constantly being surrounded by parents and teachers who tell them to get the best grades and be placed in the top 5%, it’s a harsh world that Asians often have to deal with to satisfy the public. Although stereotypes may not be intended to offend or give off this type of pressure on individuals, many agree that these so-called “stereotypes” have caused people to feel out of place when they aren’t reaching society’s expectations. Other stereotypes can be seen regarding women, and how they are never fit for a leadership role or how they are weak in comparison to men. In this case, these gender-based stereotypes have placed women at a lower tier than men, thus lowering their value. Why do women always have to be associated with an eyelash curler and why do men always have to be associated with a screwdriver? It shouldn’t be a standard. Although many may see stereotypes as just a way to identify the mass population as a whole, it brings so much weight on those who have to deal with the pressure, living up to their stereotype. Because stereotypes have been creating this illusion that has blocked out the true quality of many individuals, more and more people are starting to realize that a breakthrough is important. By breaking down this wall, people can finally free themselves from the handcuffs that society has locked them down with, thus escaping the mold that they feel they don’t belong in.

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