Movie character stereotypes simplify the reality of society


Graphic Grecia Corado

Opinion Editor Aaliyah Yan writes that films and TV shows should attempt to deviate from the cliche stereotypes.

Aaliyah Yan, Opinion Editor

It’s Friday night and I’m bored (as usual), so I turn on some Netflix. As I begin scrolling, I notice that most movies and TV shows seem the same. They all have the same over stereotyped characters in them. 

I for one am sick of constantly seeing a dumb blonde or a smart Asain in TV shows and movies. These stereotypical roles are based purely on their appearance and personality traits. Stereotypes are not only inaccurate, but they misrepresent a broad category of people. Instead, we should move away from these stereotypes and give characters deeper personalities that will make the audience more engaged and also give the movie a higher quality. 

 However, I do understand these stereotypes to a certain degree. It is certainly easier to base a character off of stereotypes rather than writing a whole new personality for them. This is especially true in movies as they don’t have the time nor the patience to go in-depth with characters. Yet, constantly seeing the same type of character in different movies and t.v. shows gets dull.  

The reason stereotypes have been around for so long is because many movies have been successful when including them such as Mean Girls.Though stereotypes may hold some truth to them, they are extremely general and not everyone falls into the same category. People often have many layers to their personality and one attribute shouldn’t determine their whole character. 

The way movies broadcast these stereotypes feed into the way we as a society tend to think as well. Since we’ve seen the same stereotype over and over again, we begin to believe it. We start to judge first before getting to know a new person or trying a new thing. 

Growing up, I only saw the Asian characters in two positions: as a sidekick or the designated school nerd. Even in “Bunk’d” one of my favorite childhood t.v. shows, the only Asian girl in the whole show was a violin prodigy obsessed with getting good grades. By continuously being reinforced with those stereotypes, a lot of people tend to think of Asians as only being smart. This type of stereotyping doesn’t just apply to Asians, movies tend to stereotype other characters as well whether it be based on their race or even something as insignificant as their hair color.

In my opinion, I think the movie industry should move away from these constant stereotypes and instead focus more on characteristics that make a person deeper. These types of characters tend to captivate the audience’s attention and curiosity. They are more likely to keep on watching and not get bored; therefore even if the plot isn’t complex, the movie will stand out in their eyes.