Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Today, I would like to write about stereotypes. Btw, there's not really a good German word for stereotype.

If I look at myself, I am a lot of things. Many of which would be considered stereotypical.

I am a nerd.
Meaning, I love books more than some people. I am a scientist. I can explain to you the differences between plants and fungi. I am happy when I can stay inside for a few days to catch up on my reading.

I am gay.
Meaning, I love nice clothes. I adore musical theater, Glee, rainbows, double rainbows, Jake Gyllenhaal.

I am a child.
Meaning, I am a Disney fan, I love Pixar and Ghibli. I have difficulties seeing people as sexual beings and not just as people.

I am an old man.
Meaning, I can quote poems of Rilke, Shakespeare, Goethe, Dickinson by heart. I sometimes think the world is too loud. I don't understand what people around me mean when they are talking.

I am German.
Meaning, I am punctual. I like it when things are in order. I have a thing for desserts.

I am European.
Meaning, I have to shake my head when I see an American city celebrate it's 100th birthday when the village I grew up in is way way over a thousand years old. I have no problem with nudity, be it in film or elsewhere. I don't see my religion as my life's purpose. I love it that there is a plethora of countries at my fingertips, each with different languages, views, foods, cultures that I can experience.

I am a man.
Meaning, I love watching action movies. I can be very easily distracted by something I see. I am almost unable to talk about my feelings, nay to talk at all ;) I am worried about losing my hair some time in the future.

I am many many more things. Each can be attributed to a stereotype. But does that mean I'm stereotypical? We all have facets of stereotypes in our character line-up, but as long as we don't artificially stress and enhance these features, but rather let them go and grow and jump over other features that overshadow them now and again, we can all just be unique and not worry about stereotypes or about what people think of us. In which box people want to put us...


Cristina said...


Shaskha said...


Essentially, not letting the features that construct us, define us?

I totally agree with what you mean. I could look at myself and think: gay, psychology student, asian, reads a lot, talks too much. This doesn't explicitly imply that all I will achieve in life is leering at men over a book on CBT whilst eating curry and chatting on the phone.

It is difficult to not let this happen; the pressure to socialise, compartmentalise into something that others (and, at times, yourself) can cope with.

I think we all struggle from time to time to remember who we are isn't what we are; our qualities are dimensions of ourselves, not us.

Really like your post!