Burritos, sombreros, tamales and these days, drug cartels. It's what usually comes to mind when people think 'Mexico.' But is there more
than just spicy food, blue beaches and political incompetence to our
neighboring country? Of course there is -- just as there's more than
fat, ignorant, loud people to the U.S.
If living on the border of two different countries has taught me anything, it's that there's
certain amount of truth to stereotypes. Studying abroad proved it even
more true. Recognizing and accepting this truth can be difficult
because too often we're offended by the truth. I remember being
frustrated by people's 'ignorant' views of Mexico when I first lived in
a city that wasn't 94 percent Hispanic or Latino, compared to the 13
percent U.S. average, according to the Census.
But now that I've lived in Tempe for more than four years, lived in Barcelona for a semester and visited six other countries, I think I've
gained some well-needed perspective on the matter. It's liberating to
laugh at the fact that my parents' fridge was packed with tamales and
leftover menudo over
Christmas break. And though I'm still not able to laugh at American
stereotype truths -- mostly because I didn't grow up with them -- I can
certainly detect them.
What's even more heartening is the ability to see the good beyond the stereotype of a country, city, community or individual.
Psychology Today has a more in-depth analysis on the truths about stereotypes.
Golden Mean Message: There's truth to all stereotypes; accepting your own culture's stereotypes reminds you that there's more to someone than the stereotype they fall under.