Yesterday I went to Books a Million with my younger son, and had lunch at Subway. It might’ve been the only time I left the house during the whole weekend.
And we discovered that stereotypes are often true. Of course I already knew this, but it was confirmed big-time yesterday afternoon.
People like to say stereotypes are unfair, and they are… because there are always plenty of exceptions. But they became stereotypes for a reason. They didn’t just appear randomly. Ya know?
The Subway is next door to a video game store, and we were sitting at a table that gave us both a view of the parking lot. And we watched a parade of paint-by-numbers nerds go past that window, for the whole meal. Fat 30-something guys wearing fedoras and neck beards… Scrawny little twerps in Game of Thrones t-shirts… Not even one female….
Then we went to the bookstore, and looked around. I was already on the stereotype kick, and wanted to see if I could find anymore examples. And a bookstore is the perfect place for such things.
I walked past the romance section, and there was a flowery-purse woman there who looked like she’d never had an edgy thought in her life. The science fiction aisle contained refugees from the video game store. And the self-improvement section was populated by sturdy women in their 50s, wearing crystals around their necks. In the fiction section I spotted a hipster wearing horn rim glasses, and an oversized scarf.
It was fun, this game of Spot the Stereotypes. Sure, there were plenty of people who didn’t fit the bill, but it holds up a good percentage of the time.
Could you be profiled? I think I’m fairly nondescript, but a CIA agent could probably take a look at my powerful upper-body, and tell I’m a fan of fast food. They could eventually capture me by staking out the local McDonald’s. What about you? Could the Men in Black easily profile you? If so, how?
Also, which stereotypes do you think are the most outdated? The idea that West Virginia is full of crazed hillbillies high on Oxycontin, and banging their sisters, etc. comes immediately to mind. Of course, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia didn’t really help matters. That movie probably added another 50 years to that particular belief. Sheesh.
And when we were in England a few years ago, we were extremely conscious of the Ugly American stereotype, and attempted to not live up to any of it. I’m not sure if the stereotype is outdated, or even unfair. But we did our best not to perpetuate it.
I’m going to work now. Weird stuff going on there… Wish me luck.
See ya again soon.