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It's hurtful when kids judge me by my clothes or music

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Sarah Bello, Massapequa

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Sarah Bello, Massapequa Park

We’re all familiar with stereotypes. Maybe you have been stereotyped before, or you stereotyped someone without realizing it. This is a bad habit to get into.

I don’t dress like your typical kid, and because of this, I’ve been subjected to a lot of judging. Sometimes kids do it without realizing, but sometimes it is intentional.

I’m an emo. If you don’t know what that means, basically I dress different and listen to different music than most kids. Emo is a fashion style and music style. I mostly wear darker colors and more jewelry than others. When you look at me you may think that I’m anti-social or depressed or rude. I am not.

I also get judged on is my music choice. I think I get more comments about my music taste than my fashion sense. Sometimes I have to risk a future friendship or good conversation if I bring it up. When I tell kids what music I like and they like a different type of music, I get the feeling that sometimes after when they’re done talking, they’ll zone out. And the worst part is that sometimes they don’t realize they’re doing it. I’ve felt out of place with my friends and still do sometimes because I don’t like the same music. Now it’s different for everyone, but my friends talk a lot about music. 

At this point, you might be wondering if you’ve ever accidentally stereotyped someone or you might be wondering how to stop stereotyping. Here are three ways to stop. 1) Look for the positives in that person. 2) Remember it's their choice, not yours. 3) Remember how it feels. Doing any of these helps you remember that what you say could be hurtful. Not only is it hurtful, it just perpetuates the use of stereotypes.

Tom Hughes Rising Stars, Garden City

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