Stereotypical Perspectives


Are you looking through the world with a lens fraught with stereotypical and biased judgements? Are we imposing what we believe society should be onto others, strangers whom we have not even met? Do everyone fit squarely into these simplistic and simply put, two-dimensional perspectives we have of them? I think not.

Why is it so surprising when someone we met turned out to be completely different from what we had expected after meeting them? Cue the standard “I would never have expected you to do… or like…” “You seem to be the kind who…” These sound all too familiar. Should it BE surprising that someone born with more defined and angular features turn out to be an animal-lover with the softest heart you’ve ever known? Or that the pretty girl-next-door tops her class regularly? Or that fair and demure-looking friend you just met is actually a tomboy at heart and hates pretty frocks? Society has imposed these preconceived conceptions onto us, and used the media as the primary tool of influence to perpetuate such narrow mindsets in society today.

The media tells us who we should be and should not be. In my honest opinion, we are so much more than that. Our lives far supersede that of the onscreen characters, which we know for just mere minutes. We lead complex yet beautiful lives, ones that interweaves into those of others, making certain turns or intersections along the way. We may be faced with a dead end, or we might just end up crossing a bridge that brings us growth in the next stages of our lives. Our genetic makeup is so mysterious that till now, it is impossible to attribute each and every one of our action and thought to them. What we have done in one instance cannot define who we are so simplistically, and likewise, we cannot, and should not, subconsciously impose all our preconceived notions onto someone we just met in a second.

It does not come easy, but we have to look at others and know them as they are. Looking at them with a lens of grace and acceptance helps us to appreciate the other party so much more. Appreciate them for what you know, yet there is no need to cast remarks on other aspects that you have no clue about, for we are so, so much more than those onscreen characters that appear to have arrived in neat little packages.