In our daily lives, we generalize about a group of people and create stereotypes without noticing this is actually a part of racism. The biggest problem is that some stereotypes are used without being considered as racism. Throughout my research, I have come upon to several racial stereotypes such as Black people have an intimidating manner. Sometimes, it is easy to make such assumptions due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.
Stereotypes created by distinguishing and concluding the lifestyles or features of one race of people as one’s standards deserve criticism. As a Korean myself, taking the Korean standardized beauty as an example, I have seen a YouTube video where the YouTuber questions why Korean girls want to look like White people. He has certainly misunderstood the Korean standardized beauty: We do not want to look like White people. There are many complex reasons why Korean people prefer double eyelid eyes and white flawless skin. One example would be the idea in the former days that darker skin was often regarded as a look of farmer or laborer, which still has an effect on today's Korean beauty standards. It was obvious by his statement that he absorbed the Korean cultural implications of beauty as he pleased. It is how Korean society built our own beauty standards. It has nothing to do with White people just like White people getting tanned or dying their eyelashes black does not mean they want to look like any other races. What is more surprising to me is that this stereotype is not confirmed to that YouTuber as an individual.
Some time ago, I saw a review about a hotel in Europe, which was written by a Korean guest, with a reply from the owner. There, the person said that he or she was scared because there were a lot of black people(or people of African dessent) in the area. I feel so ashamed by what he or she said. The statement was obviously racist even if the person did not mean it to be. This person implicitly had a stereotype about black people, the one I mentioned above. Indeed, this kind of stereotype is a lot more common towards black people rather than towards any other races. The owner replied wisely, that a lot of Koreans stay at his place and there are a lot of Korean tourists nearby but nobody has complained that they were afraid of being surrounded by many Korean people. I could not be more surprised to see how the owner properly reacted to the stereotype.
Those two examples reminded me of how such stereotypes are imbedded deeply in our society and how much it can affect people. Stereotypes lead to stereotypes. We must root out stereotypes which cause conflicts and prejudices among the racial groups. There are a lot more racial stereotypes that we have to correct other than the ones I covered above. We do live in a multicultural society where we must understand one another. Do not let stereotypes control how you see other people from different backgrounds.
Choi Areum firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 홍익대영자신문사, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>