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Breaking Down Stereotypes

Credit: The Huffington Post

Walk into a high school cafeteria, and you will see groups of friends gathered together. Look ever closer, and you will see each of these individual groups are often involved in the same things and share similar characteristics. This is nothing to be ashamed of--people tend to gravitate towards those who express similar interests and views. However, when taking part in these social groups, we tend to get stuck with the stereotypes that go along with them. These stereotypical groups are seen in early films, but none has made an impact like the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club. The stereotypes in The Breakfast Club are broken down in the five categories: the jock, the outcast, the nerd, the criminal, and the princess. It is important to realize not everybody is just a stereotype, and we are all individuals with different interests.

Kilian Gard was a two-year starter on the North Scott football team and starts on the soccer team this year. Most people would associate Gard as a typical jock, but that is far from the truth. When asked if he thinks he fits into the jock stereotype, he said, “I mean, I play sports but I don’t think I really fit into the type of athlete that people think jocks are.” In Hollywood, jocks are portrayed as bullies that pick on the kids who don’t play sports. In response to this Gard said, “I could care less if someone doesn’t play sports, I think everybody should do what they want and people just shouldn’t judge.” Gard said he doesn’t spend his free time living and breathing sports like some might assume. “I like to hangout with my friends and just hangout. Not everything I do involves sports and I don’t think there are that many athletes that do that.”

Connor Brown was voted most rebellious in the yearbook’s senior superlatives and definitely would fit the stereotype of such--he turned down the nomination. The typical rebel would be considered a student with below average grades and a habit of causing trouble. When asked if he thought of himself as a rebel he said, “No, I don’t really think about that kind of stuff.” But behind a stereotype is an actual person and they might, in some ways, fit that stereotype but in others they do not. Brown has a 3.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa next year--not things people would associate with a trouble maker. Brown stated, when asked about of stereotyping: “I think people just look at someone or hear something about them and think they know everything about them, but it’s probably not even close to being right.”

In high school, and all aspects of life, people are judged and stereotyped. If someone wears a certain shirt or says something others might not agree with, people automatically judge them and group them into a category. It is important to see people as they do in The Breakfast Club, not as this category someone might think they fit into, but as individuals who each have different sets of values and interests. Slowly getting rid of stereotypes could pave the way for a better society.

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