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BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Thirteen Popular Stereotypes Reevaluated

February 16, 2012

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.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2012 6:09 am

    Stereotype: Italians shoot people to settle arguments.
    Status: Real Italians stab you.
    Source: my Roman and Sicilian relatives

    • February 16, 2012 6:16 am

      Hi, Carl. Nice to hear from you again. And your observation is why I always stock up on Band-Aids when visiting the Vatican.

  2. February 16, 2012 6:23 am

    My cats may not be book smart, but they’re street smart. Well, not street smart, exactly, but couch smart.

    • February 16, 2012 6:34 am

      Word. I’ve seen a cat cut a bitch for stealing his pillow. And by bitch, I mean the family dog.

  3. February 16, 2012 6:24 am

    There’s one stereotype that is totally true. Incredibly hot blonde bloggers with exceptional taste click ‘like’ on marvellous posts such as this.

    • February 16, 2012 6:34 am

      I’m sorry, what was the question? I can’t stop staring at your enormous jugs.

  4. February 16, 2012 7:16 am

    Damn. I wish I were on the Gods of the Freshly Pressed Panal. This would be so Freshly Pressed. And I could wear robes and stuff like that.

    • February 16, 2012 7:31 am

      Thank you. But, not to disillusion you, I’ve seen the Freshly Pressed panel, and they all wear tank tops and sandals with socks.

  5. February 16, 2012 8:16 am

    Thanks for not listing any Italian stereotypes it’s so overdone (besides, if you did my cousin Guido would have to come and break you balls)

    • February 16, 2012 8:29 am

      Hey, I remember Guido! He smelled like gabagool and wore a wifebeater.

  6. February 16, 2012 8:46 am

    Haha. I don’t care much for creme brulee or macaroons.
    I should tell some of my friends the one about people not dancing out of common courtesy! Ha!!

    • February 16, 2012 11:44 am

      I’ve written to ABC repeatedly trying to get them to change the name of the reality show to Sitting Perfectly Still with the Stars.

  7. Sour Lemon Papaya permalink
    February 16, 2012 9:39 am

    Love your blog, bright and punchy! Had to agree with the contention on Asians. More power from the Phils.

    • February 16, 2012 11:40 am

      Thank you. The Phils are indeed powerful, but the Dougs and Chucks will give them a run for their money.

  8. February 16, 2012 10:58 am

    Creme brulee is two words. (How’d you get the little accent marks to show up?)

    • February 16, 2012 11:39 am

      Nevertheless, it was the favorite of Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, and Tootie from The Facts of Life. As for making the accent marks appear, you wouldn’t get it; it’s a black thing.

    • February 16, 2012 12:06 pm

      I was actually curious about the first part of your comment, so I checked it out, and the best I was able to determine is that this is what’s known as an “open compound”–two words, with a space in between, that function as a single word. (Think “ice cream,” which is an entity distinct from its component parts.) Re: the second part of your comment, you can find special characters (including accents, foreign characters, symbols, etc.) as you post when you click on the omega (horseshoe) in WordPress’ visual menu.

    • February 16, 2012 5:53 pm

      They didn’t cover the open compound when I took English 101 (University of Phoenix), just Compound W. That’s what I love about this blog. It’s not just good, wholesome fun; it’s also educational. Thank you, Professor Japey.

  9. February 16, 2012 5:24 pm

    You hit the jackpot with this post. Very funny. I must be black, because I love watermelon and can dance. I agree with you about dog. I have a lot of fun as a blonde, but, oy vey, have I had my troubles.

    I could go on, but you already did better than I could!

    • February 18, 2012 9:56 am

      “Oy vey,” huh? How would you like to buy me a drink at the Irish pub down the street?

  10. February 20, 2012 7:01 am

    And one day we will create new, better stereotypes that will supersede the old stereotypes and we won’t have to think anymore; humor, along with analysis, will be unnecessary.

    • February 21, 2012 3:08 pm

      If humor becomes unnecessary, I will be out of work, and will be forced to read O: The Oprah Magazine instead of MAD. I hate the future.

  11. February 21, 2012 10:42 am

    I didn’t know that Eskimos were cool like that! I guess I got the cool part…..
    Fun blog! I’ll be back….

    • February 21, 2012 3:13 pm

      I can’t be sure that my knowledge of Eskimos is 100% accurate. It mostly comes from a Bazooka gum comic wrapper and pure speculation.

  12. February 21, 2012 4:39 pm

    I think you forgot to mention the “men are better drivers” thing. Some women can totally drive better…at least when it comes to driving people crazy.

    • February 21, 2012 5:58 pm

      Of course men are better … [texts this while driving, crashes through the front window of a Dunkin’ Donuts]

  13. February 24, 2012 2:35 pm

    I have a challenge for you:

  14. March 9, 2012 6:21 pm

    All of what you said is true. All of it.

  15. Corey permalink
    March 21, 2012 7:17 pm

    I was trying to write a stereotypical sterotype-type of post yesterday. I couldn’t do it without being too stereo-typically…well…racist. Deciding against it, I read yours today, and am an instant follower.

    Thank you for the inspiration to teeter the line to racism. A line well traveled, but not always traveled delicately, and delicately is the preferred adjective for how to travel lines, according to lines everywhere.


  16. April 12, 2012 10:07 am

    Great piece. Without your help, I might’ve continued to labor under misconceptions and half truths. Now I’m “in the know”. For your consideration:
    Stereotype: Bald men are virile, sensitive lovers.
    Status: True. Why else would men with perfectly good heads of hair shave themselves to appear bald?

  17. June 2, 2012 12:34 pm

    I’ve always thought that the thing about blondes was close to the truth, but actually they are more fun to be with.

  18. June 2, 2012 1:46 pm

    It’s true. Betty was always up for anything, while Veronica was such a bitch.

  19. October 8, 2012 5:06 pm

    What happened to the Blond Mexican with the Jewish cat?

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