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Remove the labels that hurt others

Editor’s note: Inspired by the movie “The Breakfast Club,” student columnist Sarah Oliveras chose to create a five-part series based on the stereotypes explored in the 1985 film. In this column, the fourth in the series, Oliveras considers the film’s fourth high-school stereotype — the princess.

Oliveras“We accept the fact that we are seen as whatever stereotype we are viewed as. You see what’s on the outside, like the cover of a well-written novel. But we think you’re crazy to think that is all there is to us. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.”

Exclusive, snobby and spoiled. These are words commonly associated with the “princess.”

You probably know the type: the pretty, skinny, clear-skinned girls who seem to have it all and then some. They are the ones that appear to look flawless 100 percent of the time and always have a boyfriend.

It is as if they have a spotlight beaming down on their every move because all eyes are always on them. Essentially, they are high school royalty.

According to one West Linn High School junior, that spotlight can sometimes be unforgiving. It has perpetuated many stereotypes, many of which are not true.

“Many people judge before they get to know someone,” she said. “Stereotypes are something that people use to do just that.”

Many of the stereotypes associated with the “princess” not only are untrue but also can be hurtful.

“People stereotype when they are insecure about themselves and they choose to pick on people who fit a particular stereotype,” the junior said. “The princess stereotype is a huge one. People have assumed for me to be spoiled or a brat when they didn’t even know what kind of person I am. When they found out who I truly was, they would have never known that the stereotype they associated me with was so wrong.”

The junior believes that these hurtful stereotypes have originated from people comparing themselves to others and trying to see where there their place in society is. I believe that it is completely natural to have a social hierarchy within the society that we live in today. It is normal to have the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal. However, what is not normal is the stereotypes that are being associated with each of these people.

“Everyone is just trying to get where they want to go, no matter who they are. It does not help when you have hurtful labels hanging over your head,” the junior said.

This is completely true. All of these stereotypes that seem to be unavoidable these days are not true; we’ve established this.

What is the problem then? They are still being used. They are constantly popping up in the media and even in everyday life. As stated by the junior, people are just trying to live their lives in peace. If these stereotypes were removed from society as a whole, it would be much easier to do so.

Sarah Oliveras will be a junior at West Linn High School this fall. She contributes a regular column to the Tidings.



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