BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Thirteen Popular Stereotypes Reevaluated
Stereotype: Black people like to eat watermelon.
Status: True. However, this does not arise, as popularly believed, from nineteenth-century traditions of cuisine in the American south. Rather, it is the result of African-Americans’ well-documented predilection for foods that are compound words, which is why they also prefer pancakes to waffles, crème brûlée to custard, and snickerdoodles to macaroons.
Stereotype: White people can’t dance.
Status: White people can dance, but shouldn’t, out of common courtesy.
Stereotype: Asians are good at math.
Status: Wrong. Asians are great at math.
Stereotype: Blondes have more fun.
Status: Sometimes. Blondes who spend the extra for the Disney Pass with Five-Day Park Hopper® Option have more fun.
Stereotype: Poles are stupid.
Status: False. Most poles, including flag, barber, and stripper, are smarter than a typical Polish person, except for those smart enough to leave Poland.
Stereotype: Dogs are more intelligent than cats.
Status: Dogs = Ph.D. in Quantum Physics from M.I.T.; cats = Online Associate of Arts degree with a concentration in General Studies from the University of Phoenix, “Committed to student success for over 30 years.” You be the judge.
Stereotype: Gays are gossipy, flamboyant, melodramatic drama queens who are obsessed with their grooming habits and appearance.
Status: Oh, Mary, you don’t know the half of it.
Stereotype: Eskimos kiss by rubbing noses.
Status: True. They also sneeze with their kneecaps.
Stereotype: Jews are cheap.
Status: Only when buying rounds in Irish pubs, because you know how those people drink.
Stereotype: All Mexicans are lazy.
Status: This is a misconception that can be traced to a never-corrected typographical error in the 10th edition (1901) of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. The passage in question should in fact have read, “Tall Mexicans are lazy.” Short Mexicans are known to be quite industrious.
Stereotype: Large-breasted women are frivolous, air-headed bimbos who readily lend themselves to objectification.
Status: I’m sorry, what was the question? I can’t stop staring at your enormous jugs.
Stereotype: Short people got no reason to live.
Status: Not if they’re Mexican. Those people just work themselves to death. Otherwise, non-Mexican short people can make themselves very useful indeed by catering to the whims of the average-sized.
Stereotype: Old people are virile sexual dynamos with a youthful outlook and a keen, sassy sense of fashion and fun.
Status: This stereotype sponsored by the AARP.