Look around at the people in your school, what do you see? Clear, separate, divided groups, each labelled with a stereotypical name which defines everyone in that group. For example, there’s the chavs, the populars, the nerds, the freaks and more. But, judging people by their stereotype is incredibly wrong and why it should stop influencing us.
Each one of us is an individual; we are all completely different from one another. So isn’t stereotyping pointless? No two people are the same; who says you have to be in the same ‘group’ as each other to be friends? Life would be much easier if we could all be our individual selves and express our individual personalities instead of suppressing who we are to make sure we’re in a particular group.
I love “The Breakfast Club”. It’s a great and funny movie but it also shows that stereotypes are a ridiculous concept. This point is made in the film when the Bender (the criminal) falls for Claire (the princess) and Andrew (the athlete) falls for Allison (the freak). The relationship the characters develop through the film proves that despite what we might think, we are so much more than what our stereotypes give us credit for. There is no law that says a ‘Princess’ can’t be friends with a ‘Nerd’, so we should stop letting ourselves be divided by these meaningless categories.
People often blame the media; particularly newspapers for badly representing the youth of today, but in reality the pressure of stereotypes is pushing people to do the stupid things we read about in the newspapers. As each stereotypical group has a reputation, many teenagers feel pressure to act a certain way to make sure they’re in one of the cooler groups. This is why so many people are willing to behave antisocially to gain the reputation they want. Newspapers will write negative stories because they are often more exciting, and everyone knows it. The teenagers who do this want the negative attention to get them labelled as cool and rebellious by other teenagers. The pressure of stereotypes is becoming strong enough for people to break laws and ruin their futures; this is ridiculous and needs to stop.
Another movie I love is ‘Mean Girls’ which shows the pressure to fit in when the personality of Cady completely changes through the film so she can fit in with the ‘plastics’ and be popular. What happens here is wrong as nobody should ever be made to feel like they should fake their personality just to fit in. We should not have to fit into a ‘category’; we should be ourselves and find the people who accept who we are because they’re our real friends. Stereotypes make many people feel like they can’t be themselves because their real personality isn’t good enough, when this is incredibly wrong and knocks people’s confidence for no valid reason.
I strongly believe everyone should feel comfortable with who they are; everyone should feel able to be friends with whoever they want; everyone should feel like they can be accepted by society without having to be cool. This is all possible if we stop judging each other by our stereotypes and stop caring about whether we are cool or not.
Rant done, here’s a funny Breakfast Club meme,