The idea of the stereotype surrounds our everyday life. Even one of the simplest human pleasures, music, has people up in arms. It seems like no matter which genre one may listen to or enjoy, there will be some sort of outside adversity that stems from the ignorant idea what is different is bad.
It’s from this that words like metal head, EMO kid, hipster or gangsta have been painted on people’s heads as a quarantine-like label.
It’s the same type of prejudice that happens all around us involving things like ethnicity or religion. Though, in this context, it’s seemingly more acceptable. You are not singling people out based on things they couldn’t prevent, but on things they have chosen. It’s this idea of acceptable prejudice that really irritates me.
The thought it’s socially acceptable to say prejudicial things without any kind of consequence really bothers me. It’s as if people are taking their right of free speech to overstepping boundaries simply because they can.
I say this because I’ve seen people take the appearance of a so-called “hipster” and just tear him or her apart in front of friends. Without knowing who that person actually is, the act was simple dehumanization, a snowball effect of fun and games transmuting to actual hatred.
It’s just the same for many other possible stereotypes. The perceptions of an EMO kid, metal head or Goth are usually not very good, and for what reason? Is it because they tend to dress in black, or seem quiet and introverted? In my experience, these were some of the kindest and smartest people I’ve ever met.
The idea a label defines a person is not a good one. No person can be defined at face value. People aren’t as simple as that. Our perceptions of people are often unfair to those we judge. The society we live in tends to exclude ideas of personal expression and imagination. You need to look a certain way, have a certain kind of job and be a productive member of society in very specific ways or you are looked down upon.
This is blatantly discriminatory in a way that is never addressed. It’s not like racism or sexism; it’s just people-ism. It’s a form of discrimination that lives and breathes in everyone. It’s not something we’re born with, either. Prejudice is learned from your parents, the media and many other mediums. It is an idea that takes root in our heads at the behest of our humanity.
Our perceptions of people lean toward the unfavorable. We, as a culture or society, have been trained to think in a certain way; even though it is detrimental to us. So, next time you see something a little different or weird, try to think of why you hold that perception. Think, and try to form a rational or logical idea as to why it seems weird. What I’m really trying to say is this: We’re all the same, just in our own way. Accept that.