My Thoughts About Stereotypes And Biases In Our Life

Stereotype is a socially generated idea that attributes characteristics to all members of a certain group of people. One of the more common stereotype includes race. For example, saying that all Blacks are good at sports is a stereotype, because it is grouping the race together to indicate everyone of that race is a good athlete.

When I was growing up, I did not really have black kids at my school so I did not have this belief. However, as I watched professional football on TV or watched the summer Olympics, the fastest and best athletes were always black, both men and women. I soon began to wonder if ‘all’ black people really were great athletes. After all, Michael Jordan and LeBron James both dominated on the basketball court while Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith-Joyner were constantly setting new records in track. As I got older, I began to understand that not all black people were great athletes. Two of my good friends in high school were black, and they were not very good at certain sports.

One was not very fast and the other was not very good at football. This made me think about how ridiculous it is to assume things about people based on their looks. Another stereotype I believe is very negative, and can even lead to bullying, is big kids picking on little kids. Back in elementary, bigger kids bullied me because I was small and skinny. It felt terrible and I did not think I would be able to do anything about it. Because of that experience, I have always made it a point to encourage and befriend the “little guy”. Many would consider some of my very best friends to be nerds and geeks. Even if the stereotype is accurate in some cases, constantly putting someone down based on your own preconceived ideas will do more harm than good. Negative stereotyping is not only hurtful, it is also wrong.

Everyone has personal biases. Bias is a tendency to believe what we want to believe, without listening to others opinions. Staying away from someone who is ‘known’ for doing things they should not do, could be considered as being biased. My best friends in elementary school began to pull away from me in middle school because of the bad things they began to do, and the fact that I would not join in. My brothers became very biased against this group of friends and I eventually stopped hanging out with them. Although it did make me a little sad that I has lost some friends, it also made me a stronger person because it taught me how to fight peer pressure and to avoid toxic people in my life.

Often times in high school, my parents would not allow me to attend parties or go out with a certain group of guys because of what they had ‘heard’ about them. I often thought they were being bias against my friends, but they were right on many occasions. In addition, choosing to eat only foods considered healthy might be considered as being biased. My family grows most of our food in our personal garden; canning our own vegetables, making our own jelly, growing our own meat (beef and pork). Although I do not consider myself biased to packaged or processed food, I do enjoy our homegrown food, and knowing what I am putting in my body.

I can honestly say, without a doubt, I am a conformer. I like to follow the rules given to me and I do not like breaking them. I believe the reason I am this way is that my parents have always expected me to follow the rules and be respectful. I feel like it is a sense of respect for me to follow the rules given to me by my elders. There have been times; however, where I have broken rules. This is because I believed it was the right thing to do. While I consider myself a conformer, I admit I might have just a little rebel in me as well.

I believe we all stereotype and have biases, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I would like to try harder to find out for myself about someone, or something, before I voice my opinion.

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My Thoughts About Stereotypes And Biases In Our Life. (2023, Jan 15). Retrieved from