“A stereotype may be negative or positive, but even positive stereotypes present two problems: They are clichés, and they present a human being as far more simple and uniform than any human being actually is.” ~ Nancy Kress ~
Who are you? You are a combination of the results of all your previous decisions, your genetic attributes, the knowledge others have of you and the prejudices they bring into their evaluation of you. The less some one knows about you, the more likely they are to stereotype you as particular type of person. It is easier for us to put people into categories than to give each person a clean slate onto which we write our impressions as they develop through experience.
We are each a complex individual. We purposely put ourselves into categories either to affirm who we are or to create the impression we are something we are not. The most pure individual is the one who allows form to follow function and lives their life based on their beliefs without the pretext of impressing others. This is what brings the mystique to the life of the true cowboy. They live a life of survival for themselves and their herd. They have nothing that does not serve a function and impressing someone else is not one of those functions.
Who do people see when they look at you and is it the impression you would like to confer? Do you fit a stereotype and is that on purpose? Are you comfortable with who you are or do you put on a facade?
I am a tall, thin, professional man who wears a crisp shirt and tie 6 days a week. People do not look at me and say, “He looks like someone who is very comfortable out in the woods,” yet that is just where I like to be as much as possible. I enjoy busting stereotypes and assumptions. I think it is more important for people to know your heart and beliefs than the clothes you wear. I would much rather have someone think of me as incomparable than to have them easily put me into a box they created for me.
Thank you to the very unique and exquisite Melanie Hunter for suggesting this topic.