Stereotypes: While we all have them, we all hate the ones directed towards us. Here’s a rundown of a few that annoy me immensely.
1. “Is that your real hair?” That’s the first thing someone asked me the last time I got my hair done, as if because I am black, I can’t possibly have good hair. I wasn’t annoyed with Annie, my neighbor, when she asked that because I knew her intention had nothing to do with me being black. It did, however, make me think about other times I wanted to cuss someone out for asking that.
For the record, not all black people have nappy hair and some of us do actually have naturally long hair as well. And it’s not just other races, especially whites, which ask me that question. I get it from black people too, which heightens my annoyance. So, yes my hair is 100 percent mine.
2. “Rima’s really white. Don’t be fooled by her skin tone.” Nothing pisses me off more than someone questioning my blackness and basing their opinion solely on the way I talk, dress and where I come from.
Excuse me, for preferring to talk proper English and not go around saying, “Holla back” or “How you be?” Excuse me again, for also not dressing in the proper black attire that consists of Roc-A-Wear, weaves, Phat Farm, Air Force Ones and braids.
And please, oh please, forgive my mother for raising us in safe, family-oriented neighborhoods. What was she thinking? After all, we all know to be considered truly black you must grow up in the ghetto, right?
3. “What’s this rapper’s name, Rima?” As much as I love my best friend, every time she asks me this I want to literally push her puny butt out of a window.
Unfortunately, this is a misconception many have about black people that we all enjoy hip-hop music. Well here’s a newsflash for some of you: I like about five percent of rap music that is released. The majority of it sucks and there is only so much crap about bling bling or rap wars put to music that I can tolerate. I do, however, enjoy rappers like Rakim, Tupac, Biggie and Heavy D. These were rappers who actually had something meaningful to say, something about 90 percent of rappers lack today.
4. “I know you love fried chicken, Rima.” Again, this is another misconception about black people. Yes, I like fried chicken but my blackness has nothing to do with it. My Asian, Caucasian and Latino friends eat chicken, so believe me, it is not an inherently black trait.
5. “Look at the way she dresses. She’s such a slut.” I’ve never had this happen to me, but I’ve observed it many times. Since when did the way a person dress indicate their sexual activity flow? If you go by the dictionary definition of a slut, it refers to a promiscuous woman. How is it possible to tell how many men a woman has slept with based on her attire?
Just because a woman might like showing some skin doesn’t make her a slut. I can name five women off the top of my head who are sluts by the dictionary definition, but go around in long skirts so others don’t know. Perhaps more people should adhere to the old saying; “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Sometimes I wonder where people get these ridiculous stereotypes. I wonder more as to why we allow them to persist when in cases like mine and probably many others, they are obviously untrue.
Rima Thompson, a senior journalism major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.