In the sample essay below for “What Are Stereotypes in Society?” about social reality. Particular attention is paid to the most famous stereotypes of society and their role in life.
To dismiss or simply ignore anything different from the stereotype that was created. Society stereotypes people determined by their race, which significantly affects individuality. Stereotyping is not addressing just one person but a group of people as a whole.
Stereotypes are overgeneralized and instantaneous views or ideas that society places on various groups of people that we categorize together.
Race carries a significant amount of weight, more than what we can comprehend. The reality is that your ethnicity or race could impact how people view you, which in turn can negatively impact our society. To further explain what I mean by this Heilbroner (1962) states. For it is the extraordinary fact that once we have typecast the world, we tend to see people in terms of our standardized pictures.
In another demonstration of the power of stereotypes to affect our vision (para 6).
I have found that more often than not, we make snap judgements based on appearances. Our society is more or less obsessed with beauty, especially with the beauty of mixed race. There is this idea that multiracial individuals are thought to be more attractive than someone who is monoracial. This can be seen as a commonly overlooked and accepted stereotype. Having a diverse background, I have experienced this personally and I believe that this stereotype has a negative connotation. I am ethnically ambiguous which initially makes people curious about my ethnic background.
Sometimes it feels that my ambiguous appearance keeps people from getting to know me as a person. It creates this high expectation about what they think I should be, or how they think I should act. When I meet new people, I know that sooner or later the question of my race or ethnic background will be asked. People of multiracial backgrounds can be seen as something exotic to be studied or to be possessed. Judging people solely based on appearances can be damaging and hurtful.
In the society that we live in today it can be difficult to ignore or refrain from making a judgement on a persons appearance when we live in a society where beauty is an important trait. This can impact our human interactions. Having a multicultural background and an ethnically ambiguous look is becoming a popular idea, due to the fact that being exotic can make someone look more attractive.
Sims (2012) calls the popular idea that multiracial people are more attractive the Biracial Beauty Stereotype. This name that is given for the stereotype is a new one that I have never heard. Reece (2015) states She also hypothesizes that people who perceive themselves and are perceived as more attractive people would be more likely to embrace a biracial identity than to identify with a single race because of a belief that mixed race people are more attractive than monoracial people. I have not always embraced my ethnic identity, because it was not always perceived as something desirable or positive. In elementary school, I went to a predominantly caucasian school. Other students couldnt grasp my multiracial background, they picked a singular racial category they thought that I fit into and put me in it.
I believe that this was an attempt to fit me into a mold, categorize me, and or make it easier for people to identify me. This quote from the study of The Impact of Racial Miscategorization and Racial Ambiguity on Multiracial Identity and Well-Being gives an example of a frequent issue that people with a multiracial background can experience including myself. (Newcomb) states that Multiracial individuals whose physical features are difficult to racially classify often experience an exaggerated emphasis from others on their physical appearance because others may find them exotic looking, or simply difficult to racially categorize. Racially ambiguous mixed-race people often experience being treated as though they are unfamiliar and may be questioned frequently about their background, which in turn leads to a sense of exclusion, otherness and an increased desire to gain acceptance from others (Bradshaw).
These experiences can lead to an awareness of how ones racially ambiguous appearance influences social interactions and how one is perceived by others in society. Society wastes so much time categorizing people, and stereotyping them into groups without actually taking the time to truly get to know someone. These stereotypes and categories that we have put people in act as barriers whether they are meant to be positive or negative. I believe that when we judge people we miss out on the opportunity to get to know who they truly are. Another form of judgement that can be imposed on a person, could be based on how someone racially identifies. I have the impression that there is a correlation between how someone identifies ethnically and how desirable people perceive them. I have personally experienced this myself in high school.
When I was in high school I was a cheerleader, and during football season each cheerleader was assigned a football player to become friends with. I enjoyed being friends with him, and cheering at games. One day I was talking with him and the question about my racial background came up. When I answered the question his demeanor completely changed. He became very agitated and shocked, angrily stating that he was uncomfortable with my multiracial background, and that his family would not approve of us being friends.
I had experienced minor issues regarding my race in the past, but this one sticks with me vividly because it was such a unexpected and hurtful situation. There was a big debate with him, his parents, and the cheer coach for us to no longer have contact for personal reasons. I was no longer friends with him after that. We hadnt been friends with each other that long, but it was very bothersome and scary.
Our friendship didnt become problematic until he found out my race, and then he no longer desired a friendship with me because of my race. What happened between my friend and I, is somewhat different than what Heilbroner states in his essay. Heilbroner (1962) stated Stereotypes are a kind of gossip about the world, a gossip that makes us prejudge people before we ever lay eyes on them(para 5).
My friend had seen me and known me for a while, but once the subject of my race appeared, he began judging me harshly. He formed an opinion based on my ethnic background and assumed that the negative things he heard about were true. Another common stereotype is that people have a tendency to connect positive traits to people deemed attractive and negative traits to someone considered less appealing.
Perceived attractiveness can accompany similar biases to gender and race. Talamas (2016) said that in our study perceived attractiveness was not a valid cue to actual academic performance. These results suggest that we are blinded by beauty in a way in which we would be more accurate in our perceptions of academic performance from faces if we were not influenced by the attractiveness halo effect.
Given the amount of research on higher expectations and desired educational traits being ascribed to attractive students over unattractive students, it is not surprising that faces that were rated as more intelligent, having better academic performance and being more conscientious were also rated as more attractive. As predicted, there were high correlations between perceptions of attractiveness and perceptions of intelligence, conscientiousness, and academic performance, likely reflecting the strength of the attractiveness halo, as well as the similarities among these perceived competence measures.
In that statement is says that we can be blinded by beauty and our society focuses on outer appearance and outer beauty. It can skew our view on who a person truly is, and keep us from truly valuing someone as a person. The physical attractiveness stereotype is real, and quite common. This stereotype is the assumption that a person who is physically attractive also has other desirable social traits.
For example the world gives us this image of a mean girl that is typically considered beautiful and popular. Her personality or inner beauty doesnt match what is on the outside. This is often overlooked because of this outer image or stereotype that we have created hence being blinded by beauty. I have viewed it that as long as someone is seen as popular or beautiful, their negative personality traits are overlooked.
I have always wanted people to focus on my kind and compassionate personality as opposed to my race, or any stereotype that has been attached to me. My senior quote in high school was actually along the lines of this topic, and I had specifically picked it for that reason. My quote was one statement that was said by Katie Holmes, you may be pretty, and you may be talented, but no one will remember that if youre mean.
I felt that it was an important quote and that even if some people did not agree with it or see it, it still needed to be said. When we focus on the inner beauty of people instead of outer beauty, it gives us a better platform to truly see the person. Inner beauty focuses on a persons personality, their character, and values. In the world today, I believe that inner beauty should carry more weight than outer beauty.
In short a stereotype is just a shortcut to judge people more quickly. Although stereotypes can be subconscious, it is when we begin to use these quick judgements constantly with no regard for other people that it becomes a problem. Getting to know someone instead of focusing on our stereotypes we have for people can help cut down on the continuance and creation of more stereotypes. But in reality stereotypes exists because we exist.
It isnt something that came out of nowhere. We created them, and we continue to live with them. People say that the world is becoming more judgemental and less compassionate as time goes by, so we sit and wait for it to happen, instead of doing something about it. If we dont like where this world is headed we should change it. If we had the power to create this skewed perspective that we have of people and of the world that we live in then we have the power to change it into something better.