Stereotypes in Film Essay Example

Good Essays
Stereotypes in FIlm After examining the film “Mean Girls”, it can be observed that clear stereotypical gender roles and social class distinctions still exist in contemporary western society. As described by Judith Andre in her article in the Pearson Anthology, a stereotype is a “conventional, formulaic, and usually oversimplified conception, opinion or belief” (60). In other words, a stereotype is an opinion or belief about anything that is so rigid, it can be generalized to the entire population it is describing and it is so simplistic that it can be hard to be proven wrong. One must not confuse a stereotype with a generalization though. The key thing that differentiates the two would be that a stereotype reflects an unwillingness to change one’s mind despite evidence to the contrary while a generalization can and will be swayed when presented with new facts and data. The film “Mean Girls” describes the life of a homeschooled girl from Africa, Cady, transcending from her confront and tranquil life in Africa to the “Real World”. This film is a perfect example of how stereotypes fit into the western contemporary life style because of its crude humor and portrayal of the typical teenage life. In terms of social class, this film takes the hierarchy of western society (job positions, financial status, etc.) and places it in a high school creating this outlandish, but somewhat true portrayal of how life is for a typical teenager. These different “social classes” or cliques are all based off of different stereotypes created over the years. On Cady’s second day in a normal high school, her friend Janice created a seating chart for the cafeteria categorizing where to sit and where not to sit by the different cliques, going anywhere from the “Smart Asians” to the “Overly sexually active band geeks” to the “worst people you’ll ever meet (the Plastics)” and depending on where you are categorized into is where you sit for the rest of your high school life. Andre states

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Nearly half of girls ages 13-17 wish they were as skinny as the models they see in advertising and on TV (Yorio). A great majority of people are accepting of those stereotypes and the images shown on TV. The women are extremely thin with long hair, smooth skin and white teeth (Yorio). Because the media portrays women in this way, it colors the world’s perception of how women should appear and decreases most women’s self-esteem. Gender stereotypes are one of several forms of bias that media has made over the years. The media can have the positive effect of providing information and entertainment and it is a big impact on our everyday lives. People learn about each other without having to verbally…

    • 1524 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    The movie “Mean Girls” follows the story of a high school age girl who comes from a homeschooled background and is suddenly thrown into a typical American high school social environment. Her adjustment to this transition is shown through a story arc that chronicles her attempts to gain her peers’ approval. The way in which she attempts to do so is by consciously changing her identity to fit into whatever social scene she is present in at the moment, thereby making use of social indicators to change the way others perceive her.…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The movie Mean Girls, was filmed and produced to highlight the various and different forms of the “average” High School, and its students which include: the various cliques of students, who believe they are the most popular, or those who are too scared to expose themselves to the real world. There are many various groups described in Mean Girls which, reflect upon almost all high schools throughout the world.…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Stereotype- a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group (Dictionary). In simpler words, stereotypes are judgments based on actions of an individual or small group, thought to be true about the rest of that group. Stereotypes refer to individuals perceptions that typically do not correspond to reality. A stereotype is a picture in the head, not an accurate mirror of the real world. Gender stereotypes, as well as many other stereotypes, possess falseness and are not always correct. Not only do gender stereotypes contain false assumptions, but can have lasting impacts of those who are mistakenly accused. Although there may be truth of women falling under the generalizations made by society, many do not and this can affect those women negatively.…

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    One example of the racial stereotypes from this classic film is the songs in the movie. Specifically the song “I Wan’na Be Like You” that King Louie sang to Mowgli showed how discriminatory this film really is toward the African Americans in this time in history. When broken down they say, “I want to be a man, mancub/and stroll right into town And be just like the other men/I'm tired of monkeying around. I want to be like you./Oh yes it's true. I want to walk like you,/ talk like you do. You see it's true./ An ape like me can learn to be Human too…” (The Jungle Book, 2016), these lyrics describe how the orangutans, that are given African American characteristics, want to be like the boy, Mowgli, and live his ideal life because he is believed…

    • 148 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In a society highly influenced by the media, stereotypes are used sometimes in a comedic way. In Harold and Kumar go to White Castle one of the main themes the movie is poking fun at is how stereotypes affect the lives of the two main characters one being of Korean decent and the other Indian. The movie opens introducing the first character Harold. The audience sees that he is an Asian male working in a cubicle for a banking company. The scene turns to Harold’s co-workers who are both white in an office that is nicer and bigger to that of Harold, discussing how they are going to have fun and party for the weekend when one of them has much work to do, so one of them suggests having someone else do it. The scene gives the impression that the two white co-workers are the main characters of the movie as the introductory scene shows primarily the two co-workers and have the most dialogue in the brief intro; however, later the audience will notice that they are not seen again until the end of the movie. What this scene is shown to do is to make humor out of a normalized stereotype of the Asian American group. As this scene will be analyzed, the normalized stereotypes of Asians in society is highly recognizable in American culture and media, as it negatively privileges the Asian group while obscuring Americans insecurity of their own part in society.…

    • 2065 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Stereotypes often based on learned and widely shared beliefs and another group that reinforce or justify prejudice (Oetzel, 2009) . A stereotype is a set of preconceived beliefs about those who share a trait in common . It is the narrow prejudice view of a particular social group . Such as “black people know how to dance” and “women are better at cooking and worst at driving”. They’re sometimes offensive and often unfair.…

    • 1268 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    People being indiscriminate based on partial and inexact information by sources as television, cartoons or even comic books This is a description that seems to go against many public standards. The above words are the exact description of stereotypes. Stereotypes as implicit from the description, goes mostly hand in hand with media -- only not the standard meaning of the blameless media we know. Media propaganda is the other form of media that is somewhat described as media treatment. In this paper, the subsequent will be discussed: first, how stereotypes of ethnic groups operate in propaganda, why does it function so satisfactorily, and finally, the consequences of these stereotypes on the life of Egyptians in particular in society. A fair inspection will be conducted on this example of stereotypes through clarification examples and research consequences from researches conducted from reliable sources. The real association between Egyptians’ stereotypes and propaganda discussed in this paper shall magnify the suggestion of stereotypes and propaganda in common.…

    • 2278 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Generalizations exist in many contexts of today’s society. From self-experience or hearing of another’s, people form opinions about countries, food, companies, people some of which involve religious and ethnic groups. These opinions are passed on and thus the birth of stereotypes, a generalization about a group of people whereby defined sets of characteristics are attributed. It can be a dangerous thing to assume ALL people of a particular group are one way or another because this leads to scrutiny and discrimination for otherwise innocent people.…

    • 423 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Term Paper

    • 556 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Stereotype: A fixed, over simplified and often distorted idea about a group of types people…

    • 556 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Stereotype. Stereotypical. Stereotyping. All are words I’m sure we all have heard. A question I have asked myself is “Why do stereotypes exist and more importantly, why do they matter?” A stereotype is an oversimplified image of a person, place, or object. George Takei, a Japanese actor, once said “If we allow ourselves to judge another based on a stereotype, we have allowed a generalization to replace our own thinking.” So why do we allow ourselves, as people, to judge one another based on a stereotype? The answer is we shouldn’t.…

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    A 43-year-old woman pretends to be 30 years old and marries a younger man who doesn’t know her true age.…

    • 516 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The independent film circuit has always been a place for filmmakers to bring to life their darkest and most honest observations about life, or in this case, the independent film industry in itself.…

    • 390 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Stereotypes In Movies

    • 499 Words
    • 2 Pages

    American society has begun to transition from books to movies. While movies have become mainstream now, there is a problem with Hollywood and it's movies. It is a white, heterosexual, male dominated field with little representation of minorites in Hollywood and in films. While it has gotten better at representing them in film, it still does not represent them enough, or it misrepresents them with stereotypes that become social norms. This lack of representation can impact the groups of people looking for someone like them to idolize. This is a problem I'd like to solve.…

    • 499 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sociology on Mean Girls

    • 482 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Mean Girls is one of the most watched movies in today's society. It seems as though people of all gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity, class have seen this movie and can relate to some aspect of it. A brutal portrayal of high school cliques, Mean Girls depicts everyday high school struggles for students and teachers. The popular group of girls, referred to as the "Plastics", control every aspect of the school by using their good looks, money, popularity, and power. They are middle class white girls who, with the exception of Cady, receive all the materialistic items that are the most desirable because their parents can afford it. Cady comes in as a transfer student from Africa, completely unaware of the social structure of high school in America. When she first arrives everyone is surprised that she is from Africa because she's white and not Black. This stereotype exemplifies the blinding that Americans have of other cultures. We are detached from the world because our lives are so busy and we are self-centered in the way that we only care about U.S. news, not what's going on outside of the country. Cady also does not partake in the typical teenage girl practices of dressing provocative, wearing make-up, and being promiscuous.…

    • 482 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays