Stereotyping of Teenagers
One might think we live in an age where addressing discrimination has been cut to a bare minimum. Gender discrimination, racism, and discrimination towards the disabled and less fortunate, have been acknowledged, dealt with, and handled. Our children are taught to take care of the elderly, help the poor, and to stare at people with disabilities. The mentally handicapped, homeless people, and foreign men and women are also given jobs to show a sense of airness in society. Yes, one might definitely think we live in a time where peaceful equality is at its best, but when a normal, average, intelligent, respectful teenager such as myself is criticized for my individuality, the feeling of acceptance begins to go away. One would think that if we can accept the poor, disabled, foreign, and homeless people regardless of race, religion, or gender, accepting a person who just chooses to dress and look differently would be easy. As I have found, such is not the case. Discrimination towards teenagers, especially for those who choose to dress differently, is a problem. It is a problem that goes very often unaddressed.
There are plenty of stereotypes, but I believe one of the most common is that of a teenage "freak." For example, just by looking at me people assume many different things. I was very surprised to learn that a number of people thought that I did drugs. Apparently, because I choose to dress in my own unique way that people could make false accusations about me. The police also assume that we teenagers are trouble makers. I have been stopped countless times, sworn at, and threatened by arrest for simply standing on a street corner or holding a skateboard. Meanwhile, a handful of preppy teens who stand by and do the same things, are not harassed. Usually, we teenagers are assumed to be either on drugs, troublemakers, Satanists, witches, and/or emotionally depressed. Not only do people form these opinions, they also act upon them. For...
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