Monday, November 18, 2013

Tired of Being Stereotyped?




Photo Courtesy of Harrison France Photography

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Like everyone else in this world, I get stereotyped fairly frequently. The stereotypes that affect me most often are:

  • Woman: overly emotional, irrational, bad driver.

  • Christian: narrow minded, judgmental, hypocrite, no fun.

  • Homeschooling mom: intelligent,nerdy, socially inept, religious nutcase, weird kids, fond of blue denim jumpers.
  
  • Asian: intelligent, nerdy, socially inept, computer whiz, piano/violin virtuoso, martial arts expert, hard worker, poor leader, passive doormat, bad driver, and the latest addition to this lovely list....     Tiger parent.
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A few thoughts on these stereotypes:


  • When I first meet new people, I can easily avoid being stereotyped as a Christian or a homeschooler, by hiding the fact that I fall into these categories. But physical stereotypes are an entirely different deal. I can't hide my gender or ethnicity, so when I meet new people, those are two ways I'm likely to be stereotyped. 

  • I used to burn hundreds of calories trying to prove that I was an unstereotypical Christian, homeschooling mom, woman, and American of Asian descent. But by doing so, I unwittingly allowed the stereotypes to dictate my choices and my behavior

  • For this reason, I've decided that it's much easier to just be who I am, regardless of whether it's stereotypical or not. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean the stereotypes go away! But it does ensure that I'm no longer a slave to them, and instead am being true to who God created me to be.

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So, which stereotypes affect you the most? And here's a deeper question for any readers who, like me, HATE being stereotyped: should we perhaps try to avoid stereotyping others? For an answer to this question, as well as more on the topic of stereotyping, please check out a stereotyping article I recently wrote for the Gospel Coalition blog. You can access it by clicking on the link below: