Where does the word "stereotype" come from? A stereo plays radio stations and compact discs. A type is, well, a kind of something. "Stereotype" sounds like it should mean a kind of music player.

Sometimes I wonder if I am a stereotype, if I fit a mold. Maybe I am the stereotypical nonconformist: cuts up in class, wears mismatched clothes, makes random noises, doesn't do her hair, doesn't shower. Do all those things fit into a category? Could people say, "Oh, she's just like all those other girls, bouncing up and down and yelling for no reason. She makes me sick"?

I am a band geek, stereotypically. I make jokes about other instruments (that's like a bassoonist with short thumbs) and musical terms (you're stuck in mezzo-land). My fellow band geeks and I eat together, practice together, live together, cry, laugh, whine together. I'm pretty sure people feel like outsiders when they're with us. But its our life.

I am a music theory nerd also. I take to insulting people by calling them hemiolas or picardy thirds. I compare every other field to music-- architecture, biology, writing, math, law. I actually enjoy full compositional analysis. I love correcting theory homework.

I am not your typical female, however, what with the not showering and mismatched clothes. I seldom wear makeup. I pick scabs. I occasionally pick my nose. I am not disgusted by talk of bodily fluids, sex organs, or exotic foods-- even at the dinner table. I am loud and blunt. I'm kind of a boy.

But then I'm not. I need affection. I like girlie romantic comedies. I like making jewelry. I love purple. I enjoy good-smelling perfume, soap, candles. I sometimes like to dress up. I flirt.

I am not the stereotypical American teenager. I don't own a cell phone, a TV, a car, or a computer. I own less than twenty movies, less than 100 CDs. I despise network television most of the time. I also despise fast food and organized sports.

Do all these things add up to some kind of category that another human being can fit into? And what does that mean-- should that person be my soulmate or my nemesis? And how many people need to enter into a category before one can justly label it a stereotype? 20,000? Seven? 6 billion? Maybe I'm just your stereotypical "doesn't-fit-the-mold." Or is that too presumptuous?
written by Ruthie @ 8:02 PM  
1 thoughts:
  • At 4/24/2006 3:32 AM, Blogger Matt Hulstein said…

    If you are a part of a stereotype, it is because you started the trend. As far as I can tell, and yes this is limited, but I hope you find it genuine- you are perfectly unique.

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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