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Stereotyping basically involves establishing a general opinion regarding traits or particular groups as a whole. Within the context of stereotyping, there is relatively no room for individuality, only the assumptions and notions based on general or group characteristics. I have held a stereotype that blonde women are generally not very bright. I believe this notion of the blonde stereotype was basically inculcated into me via the media. Electronic media depicts blonde women as being relatively intellectually challenged and are only passionate about materiality and their physical appearance. I have come to carry this stereotype rather unconsciously and generalize every blonde female as naïve and without depth in terms of cognitive apt.
In critically evaluating the notion of stereotyping, especially the one in my case, I have essentially not exhibited to a certain degree, higher level thinking. Stereotyping basically eliminates the notion of keeping an open mind about the stereotyped group. Stereotypes are, and involve, not just mere generalizations, but false or misleading generalizations. For me to come to the conclusion that all member of the stereotyped group are basically the same regardless of their beliefs, experiences, achievements or without even getting to know them is narrow minded and biased. Another reason stereotyping isn’t practicing higher level thinking is that when faced or presented with contrary numerous instances of beliefs about a given group, for example, I meet a very intelligent blonde woman who is deep and versatile in a particular field of study in which I relatively know nothing about, there is that tendency to resist to review my stereotype notion about blonde women, thus leaving myself in self-denial. I have basically come up with excuses such as “she wasn’t born blonde, she must have dyed her hair” This act of resisting counterevidence shows an inadequacy in higher level thinking where one refuses to accept the obvious facts presented in plain sight.
Again, my stereotyping of blonde women as being incapable of high level intelligence may have been initiated from media portrayal. TV shows, magazines even to this present day portray blonde women as dull and un-street savvy.
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Successful blonde women within society are most often depicted to have achieved the success through means of the physical appearance and their sex appeal rather than via hard work and intelligence. Coincidentally, some of the blonde women I have met often do exhibit the characteristics attributed to them in the media. They are beautiful, materialistic and are the center of attraction based on their naivety.
I have on some occasions practically laughed at, or faulted the ideas of certain blonde females in some of my academic group gatherings. Though their ideas were not so impressive, but I must equally say, they were not that bad, I did not even present them with a chance to expatiate on the ideas or further reveal the motive behind such a concept, due to the stereotype I carried for blonde females I couldn’t care less.
It is in my opinion, that though with a certain level of discipline, stereotypes can be altered. This process may require a great deal of time, consistency and focused attention, but can be changed in the long run. One of the ways I believe this sort of stereotype could be altered is via the use of the bookkeeping model. By constantly and consistently stating or writing down that this stereotype is incorrect, one may naturally adapt to the correct information and thus embrace concurrent change, in my case, not all blondes are unintelligent. This method may seem relatively straightforward however, it does take a significant amount of repetition and does take time.
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Another methodology I would employ in eliminating this stereotype and any other would be through the conversion model. This model is implemented in a situation where the old stereotype is completely done away with and the individual in question with the stereotype initiates a fresh opinion. This most often occurs once a stereotype has been proven to be untrue over and over again within different contexts, it becomes evidently noticeable that the involved party begins though gradually to rid himself/herself of this stereotyped opinion.
There are a large number of stereotypes that society and its individual’s do fall accustomed to without even the slightest realization that such opinions are being formed. These opinions are formed without much thought and eventually become the basis through which an individual perceives a group of people. I have come to realize through critical evaluation, that a majority of the stereotypes, opinions or beliefs regarding a particular group of individuals are false generalizations and are in no way to a relatively high degree exclusive to simply those individuals. One constant question I continually ask myself in a bid to rid my mind of the blonde biased stereotype is “Are all brunets smart?”