If you’re over weight your lazy! Being pretty obviously means you’re stuck up. Oh, and your quiet, clearly a sign that you always have an attitude. But what perception is whose reality? Everyone’s guilty of it and many have been the accused. Stereotypes! Most are negative and don’t make anyone feel good as a person. So how can we as people take some of the most common stereotypes and view them from a different angle? For myself, if I could earn a living doing what I love most it would be having an open mind and observe to create personal connections with people I meet in order to dim the light on stereotypes.
It’s no rocket science but being open minded definitely goes a long way. I was lucky enough to have moved away from being in the same social atmosphere all the time at an early age. I’d say first placing yourself somewhere with more diversity is a good beginning. From there, it’s easy to meet different kinds of people, learn their background and even try different foods or activities you normally would not. College is a great example of where to find that kind of diversity. After all life begins and the end of your comfort zone.
Speaking of comfort zones I almost HATE being the new person no one knows at social gatherings, work, or school. It’s awkward, you feel out of place and left out. So naturally I’ve become an observer. I’m sure many would agree that in new settings you tend to be shy at first. But instead of waiting to see who would approach and befriend me first I’ve made it a goal of mine to simply, observe. It’s always interesting to be that outsider looking in and me having a dad who made me “pay attention to detail” helped my observations as well. I like to see what posture and facial expressions are most common for people when reacting to certain situations or people who are different from them. What words or gestures offend people or may be taken the wrong way. When people listen to understand versus listening to reply it makes for less miscommunication. Thus, creating an “at ease” atmosphere for people dealing with stereotypical issues.
If I could make a living doing what I love most it’s simply leading by example. Stereotypes are all over the world and even some of the oldest ones still linger. By creating personal connections with everyone I meet I’m not only getting an opportunity to learn who they are as a person but make them feel like not everyone go off overly exaggerated ideas about a particular group of people. So in closing, someone over weight may have a hereditary disease. That pretty girl may secretly suffer with body image issues. And that person you think has an attitude because they’re quiet could possibly be that one observer learning to be more open minded. I’m not naïve to know that a change so drastic does not happen overnight, but change begins with one person amongst millions.
“Society will always be too fragile to accept us for all that makes us beautiful!”-R.M Drake