Saturday, July 31, 2010

Coming to you, live and in stereotype

If you read as much as I do, you know who the stereotypes are when you meet them. You can identify them right away and you can usually figure out what they're going to do right from the beginning. "Look, here he is, the dumb jock. I bet he'll make stupid jokes for comic relief all through the novel until the very end when he realizes there's more to life than sports."
Here are some other stereotypes that annoy me.

1. The self-righteous religious conservative. photo source

You know the one. The gay-hating, intolerant, anti-evolution, and possibly racist crusader, this character doesn't see any other way except the right way, which just happens to be this character's way, too. The SRRC will fight to protect the status quo, because God's on their side, until (surprise, surprise!) their son/friend/cousin turns out to be a member of the very same group they've been hating on. Oops. Well, maybe that person isn't so bad. Maybe our Glenn Beck groupie has to rethink his or her chauvinist/anti-Muslim/gun rights stance after all.
2. The popular source

Yeah, I know, pick on the most obvious stereotype on the planet, right? Well, it's fun, so I'm going to. I think most writers these days have enough sense not to create this character, but maybe there are still a few bad cheerleader books out there.
She has to be blonde. Huge boobs. And for some reason, waving pompoms makes all the guys drool and all the girls stalk her at the mall to find out where she shops. Usually, she's such a ditz the author doesn't have to bother with much character development. She exists (1) purely to torment the main character and her friends or (2) to steal the MC's crush until the silly boy hits his head on her huge boobs and realizes (oops) brains are better than boobs and how could he not have noticed The Perfect Girl Right in Front of Him?
3. The nerd. (photo source)

He's a loner. He sits by himself at lunch, and when he goes home, his best friend is the computer. He doesn't have enough social skills to remember to remove the paper towel bits from his face after shaving (which he does at least once a month), but by golly, he has a heart of gold. Thank goodness for his understanding teacher who reaches out to him and saves him from his self-destructive tendencies, because otherwise, he might never have the sense to believe in himself or make new friends. But by the end of the novel, he applies his teacher's wisdom to his life and even gets a girlfriend. Cue cheering crowds of popular cheerleaders.

I can think of a few more, but I'm stopping for now. What stereotypes are your pet peeves?

1 comment:

Aubrie said...

Hmmmm....maybe the snobby princess. :)

Or the band geek. (because I was one!)