Posted by : VANITY Blog Tuesday, 18 November 2014



I started to avoid making eye contact with the people I was talking to because of the way they were looking at me. They stared with their sparkly eyes as if they were reading my mind, and it always put me into an irrational fear that I could not ignore. I could not help but think that they were judging me by the acne on my face, the weird Korean accent that I had, and everything else that made me different from everyone else.
But was my fear really 'irrational'? I thought about it and realized that I had this fear because I felt that people were judging me by the way I look, talk, and act. I was afraid that when people saw the acne on my face, they would start thinking, "She probably doesn’t wash herself often." But I do. I wash my face at least twice a day, shower once a day, and brush my teeth at least twice a day.

Stereotypes


Stereotypes are formed when people try to figure out who you are simply by your appearance, actions, and words. They connect you to their past experiences with others who have acted in certain ways and assume that you will be like those people, too. This leads to prejudice and affects people's ways of thinking about you, as well as their attitudes toward you.

How to Deal People with Stereotypes


In most cases, people who view you through stereotypes will not be very kind to you. They might look at you critically and treat you with contempt, which may lead to discrimination from others.
However, should you be afraid of what others may think about you and therefore hide your true self? Of course not! You should always be confident and proud of yourself so that people can feel that you are not weird, but unique. Prove to them that their stereotypes and prejudices are wrong.
Other effective ways to get rid of the stereotypes that people have of you is to talk to them. Do not avoid eye contact like I used to do; it will only make them think that you have low self-confidence. Look them in the eye so that they can see clearly for who you are, not through the lens of stereotypes.
The most important thing that you need to remember is that you should not be influenced by any judgement someone may have about you. Let them think what they want; do not hide or lie about yourself so that you can fit in and be like the others. All you need to do is to be proud of who you are and of your differences, because you are special.
 

- Cindy Hong

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.

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