Stereotyping: Nerds vs Pops vs Jocks???

Stereotyping: Nerds vs Pops vs Jocks???

Faith Lininger, Staff

Stereotypes. They seem to rule our lives, whether we be in Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College, or none of the above. Stereotypes can be a thousand different things, and sadly, stereotyping is something everyone does. You see someone, your mental mind registers how they act, sound, and what they look like and… BAM! You slap a label on them. Don’t deny it, you do it too.

Even the nicest of people stereotype without even realizing it; Ever seen someone walking through school, being bothered by people and immediately assume they’re a submissive victim to bullying? They probably just don’t care or don’t even know it’s happening. Headphones are awesome like that. Or have you seen someone sitting alone at lunch, and immediately assume they’re a loner? They’ve probably just had a bad day and wanted to sit alone, or the people they usually sit with are sick.

Now, most people think that all stereotyping is bad. Most of it can be, if you take what your mind thinks and act on it in a violent way- name calling, rumor spreading, picking a fight, etc. But, stereotyping is the way our mind works. Our brains are programmed to find patterns, and similarities, and categories. That’s what stereotyping is. Finding patterns and similarities between people and their actions, and putting them into the place in your mind that fits people with those actions and looks.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a natural function that everyone does without noticing. A girl who sits with a lot of people can be assumed as a Pop, and if the people who sit with her are mean to you or others, you’re mind assumes she’s mean like the people she hangs out with, or, the people who hang out with her. Someone who does nothing but read and study can be assumed as a Nerd, but maybe they just want to keep their grades and homework done and at school so that their personal life and school life don’t mix, and so that they can have fun after school. A person who plays sports all the time can be categorized as a jock- someone whose life typically revolves around sports and has bad grades -and they could be the laziest person in the world, or a secret genius!

Stereotyping, as I mentioned earlier, is your brains way of keeping order in the world. It’s not bad, and it’s not rude. It’s how our minds work, but the people who act on how their brain keep order make it seem bad. Movies that make Pops out to be the meanest people in the world make it seem bad. Movies that make Jocks seem to be the dumbest people in the world make it seem bad. Movies that make Nerds out to be weaklings who are worried only about grades and when their gonna get pummeled next make Stereotyping seem bad.