How Do Popular Stereotypes Affect You
Throughout human history, there have been many divides that have created separations between humans, creating a defining line preventing both sides from coming together. Stereotypes have created otherwise avoidable conflicts. Stereotypes cause people to think that individuals from different backgrounds are alike, create barriers between races and sexes, and stereotypes can create certain stigmas that can affect the way we view relationship norms.
To begin stereotypes, divide people by creating barriers between different races and sexes. It is a common thing for there to be a barrier between people as we all have different needs, wants and as people, we all strive for our own end game, but stereotypes have only reinforced those barriers keeping us from separating. In many industries, there are many examples of a divide between people of different races and genders from paid grade to exposure. A trend recently studied in the makeup industry reveals people of color have little exposure. In general, there are fewer people of color in the industry as shown "four years ago, the trade publication Media week found that only 6.1 percent of the magazine industry's professional staff was nonwhite"(Carr). Not only is there a barrier to entry of people of color into the fashion industry, but fewer of them are also able to gain employment. The separation of people of different races and sexes has many factors which that person does not have any choice in as they are being judged based on their skin color, race, and or sexual preferences. Acceptance of other races and sexes has been either slow or avoided altogether as stated, ''the magazine industry has been slow and reluctant to embrace the change in our culture”, as stated by ''Roy S. Johnson, editorial director of Vanguarde Media and editor in chief of Savoy, a magazine aimed at black men" (Carr). Reluctance to change our views has only made stereotypes more prominent. People of color are subjugated to unfair treatments in the workplace resulting in less work and having to face more difficulties due to stereotypes with which they are branded based on their sex or skin color.
Subsequently, stereotypes are not only barriers for individuals of certain groups, but also generalizations that are used to categorize individuals into one class. Stereotypes are just generalizations to classify groups of individuals into one group with it varying from group to group. Usually, depending on perspective, one group is viewed in a negative light while another in a positive light. Which can present biases. A " photo taken by Dave Martin, an Associated Press photographer in New Orleans, shows a young black man wading through water that has risen to his chest. He is clutching a case of soda and pulling a floating bag. The caption provided by The A.P. says he has just been "looting a grocery store"(Ralli). A BLACK man who has been caught in a storm trying to get provisions while the water is high enough that he can completely submerge in is seen as a looter during a time of crisis. Additionally, there is more to the story than meets the eye as, "the second photo, also from New Orleans, taken by Chris Graythen for Getty Images and distributed by Agence France-Presse. It shows a white couple up to their chests in the same murky water. The woman is holding some bags of food. With the caption stating, "finding bread and soda from a local grocery store" (Ralli). The disparity is shocking as a WHITE couple who are in the same situation as the young BLACK man who was up to his chest in murky water that likely has wild animals swimming in it were viewed as if they were just out and about shopping and not stealing provisions from the store without paying. The race of an individual is a major factor in the way that people see each other as the actions of the collective is viewed as enough to judge the few. with "the left-leaning blog Daily Kos linked to the page with the comment, "it's not looting if you're white" (Ralli). Being long ingrained into many for generations that as long as anything other than white, the actions that you take will be closely monitored and be used to judge you, your race, and your culture.
Lastly, stereotypes are also prevalent in the way that we view our relationships by creating standards on how a relationship should be. When people think of a relationship, they imagine a boy and girl relationship where the couple is of the same race and culture. The norm of these relationships is that the man is supposed to be the strong-masculine type and a breadwinner. While women are supposed to be feminine, weak, and the caretaker of the house. Straying from these societal standards, men or women tend to face a lot of social stigmas from friends and family members alike. These relationship prejudices have become "the overarching societal belief of what it means to be male or female is influenced by gender stereotypes"(McCarrick). Society has this preconceived notion of what the roles of men and women are meant to be. Etched into our children for generations; these roles have become common knowledge since young. Moreover, not only is it decided on how a relationship should be, but relationship stereotypes also affect how we view abusive relationships. Hearing of an abusive relationship you would usually think of a man hitting and beating a woman till she looks bruised and battered. Not always being the case as women can also be abusive to the men either physically or emotionally, however, likely, you would not hear about this as this would be a shame for the men to be weaker than a woman who should be below them in terms of physical strength giving them control. Additionally, it is very likely that the actions of the women would not be abusive and can be written off as an accident. Clearly, "both genders can be affected by partner violence, but currently there exist biases in addressing this"(McCarrick). Hearing about an abusive relationship is quite common but hearing about the victim being a man is uncommon and people are more likely to believe that the man is the perpetrator. In fact, "A large-scale study (Sorenson & Taylor, 2005) found that acts were more likely to be perceived as abusive if they were executed by men" (McCarrick). Due to the preconceived ideas of what a relationship is supposed to be it has become a stereotype that in relationships the men are supposed to be the ones responsible for everything while the women are just decorations meant to be happy with whatever the men decide.
Although stereotypes are viewed in a negative connotation some may argue that stereotypes can be good sometimes and are not all bad. Sure, people might say that sometimes when joking with friends, we use stereotypes to get a couple of laughs and the humor is in good fun. As true as that might be that good fun can sometimes be offensive to others who have lived their lives under the stigma that stereotypes have brought either them or their family members. Wars have been fought because people have different views and experiences. For instance, World War 2 stereotype propagandas were prominent with people fighting each other believing cliches meant to incite anger for the opposing sides. To illustrate, it was thought that the German soldiers were "naturally brutal" (Evans), but this is untrue as this was meant to entice the opposing soldiers to fight and stop the brutality that is the Germans. The German soldiers were taught "a mentality that they had to carry which was a special attitude to military behavior which was, 'Never be weak" (Evans). Of course, stereotypes are viewed as negative and hurtful but that is not always the case as they can bring people together. Best friends have been known to be able to talk about anything with each other and jokingly they have been known to throw a few stereotypical jokes which did not affect their friendship allowing them to stay close friends.
In Conclusion, stereotypes have been around for many generations and most have been engraved into our lives dividing people creating a gap between different groups and cultures preventing us from being unified. Many factors have contributed to how stereotypes affect our daily lives as they create barriers between different sexes and races, generalizations that are used to categorize individuals, races, and or culture into cliche groupings, and create outdated relationship biases which forces individuals to live up to. Everyone has faced stereotypes at one point in their life whether they be White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian and it seems that these stereotypes are here to stay no matter who it is that they hurt. There are however upsides as sometimes people have been able to use stereotypes to joke around as friends forgetting about race and culture to laugh and enjoy themselves as they realize that they are not so different from one another.