Monday, October 30, 2006

Proving Them Right

Sure, I know that stereotypes are harmful and hurtful, and some are even outright ludicrous. And I’m also aware that even “positive” stereotypes – i.e. mixed people are so beautiful - are wrong and can be insulting.

But what to do when you find yourself inadvertently living out a stereotype?

Case in point, I got my haircut on Friday. I spent more money than any part-time working person should spend on a hairdo. Not only did I do this on Friday, but I insist on doing it every eight weeks. (Stereotype: Black woman overly concerned about her hair).

As I come home with brand-new cut, I say to SRH - who happens to be celebrating his 2nd Blogaversary today! -

“What do you think about the new haircut? He took at least 3 inches off parts of it.”

It is at this point that SRH begins to look truly frightened and a little confused as he says, “Wow! Um…it looks really good.”

Me, “You don’t think it looks any different do you? SRH, he put layers all over my head. It’s a TOTALLY different cut.”

To this, SRH responds, “Sorry, honey. It doesn’t look that different.” (Stereotype: Oblivious husband.)

And before I could get faux-huffy, I had the following thought, Well, really. I should wait until tomorrow after I’ve pulled my hair back to see if he’s notices a difference. (Stereotype: Mother of a young child who, 9 days out of 10, wears her hair in a ponytail because it’s just easier.)

Eh, I guess these aren’t the worst stereotypes to validate.

What stereotypes do you fulfill?


lsig said...

Hmmm, stereotypes...nope, none that I can think of, especially none about hair color and temper. *cough cough*

peefer said...

Well, I don't think I currently fill a particular stereotype, but I am more and more aware that I'm on the path to becoming a grumpy old man, and that really scares the hell out of me.

Acknowledgement is the first step, right?

Kristi said...

Mama blogger all the way, baby. That's my stereotype. Not much else going on here. Unless you count 'redhead with a temper', but I try to keep that one on the down-low.

Zany Mama said...

I have always thought of you as the most mild-mannered red head I have the pleasure of knowing.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I slay myself.

Interestingly enough, I completely thought you fit a stereotype - the sensitive, deep thinking, creative artist. Oh sure, I told myself, he's a graphic artist, not a real one, but it still counts. But then SRH told me that you weren't a graphic artist at all but an engineer. I was actually quite surprised.

So I'm not sure I can believe your "grumpy old man" characterization. Perhaps you are just pulling the wool over my eyes for yet a second time.

I find that most red-heads with a temper try to keep in on the DL (see lsig above), and sublimate their natural rage into more appropriate channels. For you it's mama blogging. For lsig it's uber-geek fandom, and for Carrot Top it's prop comedy.

(Sorry about the comparison with Carrot Top, I simply couldn't resist).

peefer said...

I was careful to say "on the path to becoming" which is much different from "being." And being on a path is no guarantee of becoming, but only a snapshot of one's trajectory, which, in my experience, is surprisingly divertable.

So ...

There is no wool-pulling, but it makes me wonder ... if there was such a stereotype as an engineer in sheep's clothing, than maybe I would be it. Not that I'm a crappy engineer. Okay, I know ... I'm the very good engineer in sheep's clothing stereotype. There.

zingerzapper said...

I would say I fall under the stereotype of the radical, lefty feminist. Within that definition is the inability to listen to men whine about "the crazy feminist", "no need for affirmative action", "anything regarding the rights to issues regarding my body" and "how they really don't have the power." I say, "Get over yourself!" But I guess it is just a stereotype.

Anonymous said...

Being tall all my life, I have lived through the stereotype that all tall people are either really good at Volleyball and/or Basketball. No, World, not all tall people are good at sports. This one is particularly bad at them. It's called NO Coordination. None what so ever. Growing 10 inches in one school year doesn't leave much time for one to catch up on coordination (aka, not falling down on a regular basis). Especially when he or she is 10 years old. Yeah, that's right, at the end of 5th grade, I was taller than all of my teachers, even the men.

So, no I'm not good at basketball. But I am especially good at reaching things of shelves at the grocery store.

Tree Monkey

belsum said...

Nice. I always spend way too much money on my haircuts, too. But that's because (being a lazy mother) I expect my cut to be my style, too. Mamma ain't got no time for product application in the mornin'.

Zany Mama said...

"being on a path is no guarantee of becoming"

Are you trying to be a zen philospher now, peefer? Because I'm pretty sure those folks don't go around in sheep's clothing.

You, good sir, are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an sheep's clothing.

I believe the stereotype you fulfill is "saucy wench" - a feminist one, to be sure, but a wench nonetheless.

Tree Monkey-
Ten inches in one school year? Wow, that had to hurt.

I hear that. But let's reframe - you're not being a lazy mama, you've simply evolved beyond the use of shallow pills and potions. You know that true beauty comes from within.

Plus, you're fucking tired from raising a child and that's what the expensive haircuts are for.

S. said...

I am guilty of "wearing hair in a pony tail most days of the week."

Still trying to figure out how to change that.

Zany Mama said...

Thanks for stopping by - it's kind of weird around here, but you will in no way be judged for wearing a pony tail every day.

However, if you figure out how to change it, let me know.