I'm a human being, not a stereotype


Break the Stereotype, by Jennifer Wu

Dear Lili,

Stereotypes – sometimes you use them, but more often you just hear them. White girls are Starbucks guzzling, Ugg-wearing, obsessive texters. Black girls are ratchet, finger-snapping, weave-totting divas. Muslims are all terrorists. Gay people are all flamboyant, loud and love rainbows. Emos all slit their wrists and listen to sad music. Blondes are stupid and wear excessive makeup. Skinny people eat nothing but salads and are anorexic. Virgins are prudes. Non-virgins are all easy sluts. People use these stereotypes to be mean or funny, but I think the stereotypes are so ingrained into them by society that they no longer know what they’re saying.

Lili, even you are subjected to stereotypical scrutiny. Society imagines you to have squinty eyes, glasses, ramrod-straight black hair, and an incredibly studious nature. You’re Korean, so you must hide nuclear bombs in my closet, hate Americans, and love math. Wrong on all counts.

A person’s race, sexuality and culture are not things to be stereotyped, but are simply a part of ourselves. In your generation, race has become an identity – color and origin define how you are supposed to act, talk and walk. Media represents women and girls as empty shells without diverse personalities, and determines who we are our based on our faces. Gay, Asian, black, skinny, Mexican, straight, rich, blonde, female, smart, white, male… Human. No matter how we act, talk or where we are from, we are all human beings in the end. Remember this.

Sincerely,

Lili

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Hello. My name is Lili Ok-Ellis. I’m in the sixth grade. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one without dreams, but whatever I turn out doing in the future, I just hope I’ll be happy. I don’t know what I would do without art in my life; sometimes it’s the only thing that calms me down. I love traveling, visiting other places and learning about new cultures.

#stereotype

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