Stereotype (n): a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
Most of the time stereotyped characters make me want to go again? every time I read about them. I mean, I don’t have anything against stereotypes in particular since a lot of them do happen in real life… but do they always? So today, I’m going to share with you the ways these stereotypes can be switched up into something better, and/or more realistic!
1. The Tomboy Who’s “One of the Guys”
THE STEREOTYPE: Books and movies portray tomboys (girls who act a lot like guys) as “one of the guys,” or always hangs out with guys and is considered to be part of their “manly group.”
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: This stereotype does make sense, but how about tomboys who still hangout with girls? Or tomboys who hang out with a mix of both?
REVAMPED: Can we please have a tomboy who’s one of the girls?
2. The Wise Old Man/Woman
THE STEREOTYPE: In books and movies, almost all old people are portrayed as wise, and often give advice to our young heroes and heroines.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: Okay, yeah, wise people have more experience and knowledge, but do they all? How about those that grew up alone, or maybe with no education?
REVAMPED: Let’s have an old guy who actually is pretty clueless and even puts the main characters in danger.
3. The Antisocial Nerd/Geek/Dweeb
THE STEREOTYPE: First off all, it fucking pisses me off that smart people are instantly labeled “nerds.” Even the dictionary describes nerds as: a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: And I’m just like… what?! I don’t know about other schools, but in ours, super geniuses are greatly admired and mostly have a ton of friends. Or if they don’t, they want to, but other people are intimidated by them. So it’s not really the person himself who’s antisocial.
REVAMPED: Hit us up with a nerd who loves to drink and go to parties. Or a geek who’s even more popular than the basketball team’s star player. Or a geek who is the basketball team’s star player.
4. The Gentlemanly/Prim and Proper Thief/Con Artist
THE STEREOTYPE: Apparently all thieves are super stealthy to the point that they’re all gentlemen, or are extremely well-groomed all the time and are really classy in their craft–and even outside of it.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: So thieves in our country are definitely not gentlemanly.
REVAMPED: Bring forth a thief or con artist who is clumsy, messy, and actually leaves evidence to be caught.
5. The Byronic Hero
THE STEREOTYPE: This happens so often in contemporary romances, be it YA, NA or adult. We usually have a guy who thinks he’s up on a fucking pedestal and belittles everyone, broods for 3/4 of the book because of some pretty deep shit, and yet everyone in the book seems to think he’s sexy.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS: For me, a sweet and charming guy is totally way sexier.
REVAMPED: Give us an arrogant guy that no one actually likes and doesn’t have ginormous family problems to brood about–some people just brood for no reason, you know?
YOUR TURN! Tell me: Which stereotypes annoy you the most, and how would you change them?