The Patriot Position- Stereotypes: It’s time for a change


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Rebecca Cross, Rebekah Davis, & Rachel Droze, Staff Writers

Have you ever been judged based on how you look or what you’ve been involved in? Have you ever judged someone else based on how they looked or in what they were involved.

Media affects our society as a whole in how we see each other because often media exaggerates the ideas and characteristics of certain groups of people.

For example, Fox’s new TV show “Empire” portrayed a man with bipolar disorder who threw away his medicine and had drastic mood swings almost instantaneously. He displayed only the negative qualities of bipolar disorder, and those qualities were made more extreme than they are. This character and other similar portrayals contributed to the idea that people with bipolar disorder are

unstable and incapable of controlling their emotions without medication.

In “Legally Blonde,” Elle Woods is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed sorority girl who is always clad in pink. She defied the odds and the opinions of those who doubted her, and she graduated from Harvard Law School. She overcame the stereotyping that sorority girls are supposed to be ditzy and boy-crazy, and she achieved the goal that she set for herself.

Of course, not all TV shows and movies are guilty of creating negative stereotypes.

For example, “Pitch Perfect” showed a group of college girls from different backgrounds uniting for one cause. They overcame their differences and found characteristics that they appreciated about each other. Each Bella loved the others because of the quirks that made her unique. This is a great example of how we should unite and break stereotypes to become a stronger community.

Viewers of TV shows and movies should make sure that they’re being very critical of what they’re watching. Too often we accept what we’re told as truth instead of comparing what we’re told and what we know to be true. This acceptance can change how we view our world and those in it. We judge other people too quickly before getting to know them just because of their characteristics.

These stereotypes can be seen on campus at FMU, too. Honors students are considered to be smarter than the rest of the students, and many students feel inferior to them just because they’re in the Honors College. Members of fraternities and sororities are known as partiers because of their Greek affiliation. Athletes are thought to struggle more in classes because they have to spend so much time playing sports, and people who are seen in the Octagon at night are considered to be too loud and inconsiderate.

Stereotypes can be very hurtful and segregating. We can’t have a united student body if we separate ourselves from others because of their perceived characteristics. Media has had a hand in creating those ideas and imparting them into its viewers. We need to be more critical of what we hear and see, because if we are not, then we cannot be a strong community. Stereotypes hurt us more than help us, and it’s time for a change.