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We live in a society where people can’t survive without judging another person. People are judged and stereotyped on basis of gender, culture, race, sexuality and every other possible human identity. Every one of us must have experienced it some time in our daily walk of life.
Four years ago, I migrated from Chennai to New Delhi to pursue graduation in fashion design from NIFT New Delhi – STOP!

Fashion Design? Isn’t that something only girls study?
Fashion Design? Why do you wanna become a tailor?
Fashion Design? It’s expensive. The course is only for riches who spend lavishly!
Fashion Design? Dude! Fashion designers are gay. Don’t!
Fashion Design? Fashion design students smoke, dope and are alcoholic. Don’t get in there. Don’t.
From a distant aunt’s cousin’s son’s brother-in-law to auto drivers who drop me at college, I’ve heard it everywhere and from almost everyone.

When I joined my college in Delhi, I was a ‘Madrasi’ who spoke ‘South Indian’ and was asked if I really apply coconut oil in hair and use the same coconut-oil to cook idli-vada-sambar!! Leave alone the ‘Anna Rascala Mind-It’ dialogue which I had never known before watching Om Shanti Om!

There are more than enough stereotypes out there.


In a college which has a healthy female population, one cannot help but take pity over the ridiculous stereotyping of women. You don’t have to term a girl as ‘behenji‘ just because she is simple, studious, doesn’t date and wears ethnic clothes. And neither do you have to judge a girl as ‘slut’ just because she dresses up, looks good, has a boyfriend,  is social and smokes or drinks. It is about an individual’s choice. Walk a mile in their shoes before judging and stereotyping. If you don’t know the person, ask the person. If you don’t agree with the person, talk to the person. If you don’t like it, say it in person. You don’t have to keep silent and judge the person. If you decide to sit back and judge me, you are not describing me as a person, but in turn describing who YOU are!
With growing exposure towards the fashion industry over the years, I was also exposed to some of the most insensitive stereotyping on basis of looks, gender and sexuality! Men in fashion industry are very often stereotyped for being gay. A man who likes to dress up and look good need NOT be gay. Only thing it says about him is that he likes to himself and look presentable. Straight, gay, bi, asexual, pansexual…. anybody may belong to fashion industry.

In India, the concept of beauty itself is highly stereotyped with fair skin. It might be because of the fact that we were predominantly ruled by light-skinned foreigners throughout the course of our history that fair skin is bluntly associated with superiority and henceforth, prettiness (and the entire nation is obsessed with fairness creams). Thanks to Bollywood beauties like Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone etc. for showing us that dusky skin is exotic, hot and one need not have a fair complexion to look beautiful!

I couldn’t help but share this visual from a magazine-shoot featuring Tara Lynn who shut down all those who associated size with beauty!  Tara looked gorgeous and boosted confidence in millions of plus sized women. She set an example and made millions of teenage girls who are lavishly under diet. Being skinny is unhealthy and has got nothing to do with looking beautiful. Beauty is independent of colour or size. Plus sized women are NOT ugly! Big is beautiful too. (Oh. Please leave Aishwarya Rai alone! She just gave birth to a baby. A healthy mom is all that a child needs to stay healthy and sound. I am sure, Mrs. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan knows better than any of us on when to gain or loose weight. It is an individual’s choice. Society should accept the person for what they are and stop judging!)

Like I had quoted earlier, “There are more than enough stereotypes out there”.
Stereotypes based on race/nationality.
* All Middle Easterners  are terrorists – How is that fair?
* All black people are good at sports.
* All Asians are studious, have squinty eyes and speak the same language – Ignorance!
* Africans commune with wild animals in day to day life while Indians still drive elephants – Heights of ignorance!
Stereotypes based on gender/sexuality.
* All gay men are feminine – They simply aren’t!
* All women love to cook and clean – Sick mentality.
* Women in power are mean, lonely and bitchy – Straight out of jealously?
* All step-mothers are wicked and cruel – Seriously? Are we still stuck up with Cinderella stories for 5yr olds?
* All men are tough and a real man doesn’t cry.
Stereotypes based on physical appearance.
* Blonde women are dumb – How exactly is hair colour supposed to decide a person’s intelligence?
* People sporting deadlocks smoke weed.

Before stereotyping next time, think if you would liked to be judged the same way. Let us spread the word and create awareness. When I was stereotyped for being a non-Hindi speaker, I did feel offended but also bothered to patiently explain almost everyone who had such queries and today things have changed drastically! Most of my friends in college can now not only differentiate between Tamil and Telugu but have this cult following for the Southern film industry! Life has drastically changed over the last three years. I penned my first blogpost on 11th April 2009. I’ll be entering 4th year of fashion blogging in a couple of days and my blog titled DESIGNER PURUSHU is now PURUSHU ARIE.

It is time to start respecting ourselves for who we are.

It is time we stopped and actually got to know the INDIVIDUAL and not the STEREOTYPE!

So what is the worst kind of stereotyping you have dealt with? Do share with me and also remember to share this post and pass on the message.

Purushu Arie

P.S. Do check out this facebook album titled “Time to Change“. Share and spread the message 🙂

  • April 9, 2012

    Loved the post…especially the part about being from Chennai and girl stereotyping. I am from Chennai and I also heard this whole Rascala thing for the first time after I moved out of Chennai…

  • April 9, 2012

    Thanks. I am glad you liked it 🙂
    I no longer get to hear those anna rascala stuff 😀 I laugh it off when I hear it. But yeah, I do reply with ek gaav mein ek kisaan raghuthatha 🙂

  • April 9, 2012

    Purushu i love this post , everything is so true . I hate it when people attack other for being overweight or too skinny . Although i dislike Aishwarya rai as much as i hate ignorant people but i still think people running their mouth about her "fatness" are plain ridiculous .

    Normal women are expected to slim down within a month after seeing all the other celebrities and if Aishwarya rai is not doing the same then i feel she ought to be taken as an example .My sister just gave birth to a cutie pie baby girl and people were complaining how fat my sister looked when she was pregnant :/ , i mean seriously !!! People need to realize that celebrities have a very wide effect on our life , i know we don't want to consider them humans but seriously, cut them some slack .

  • April 9, 2012

    Lovely post dear.Very thought provoking.

    In life,w e cannot satisfy people, so leave that & chill. The best thing is to live for ourselves.We often live life to impress others or sacrifice our life for others. We buy car, house, clothes etc to impress others & others dont care much. As well as at times spouse, children or parents sacrifice their lives for those whom they love, often its not required.The first thing is to love ourselves and live life for oneself.

    Ya I hate stereotyping as well as judging people.

  • April 9, 2012

    This is so true! If a woman wears skimpy clothes 'Oh! She's easy..available.' If she chooses to have one night stands, she's a slut. Really? It's time people stop being judgemental..everybody lives differently, thinks differently and if someone chooses to have night stands that's really her call! Why judge?

  • April 9, 2012

    This is a brillant post. The poem in the start is brilliantly well written. Its time to change and accepting people the way the are. Since I started blogging, most people tell me I dont "look" like a fashion blogger. That pisses me off. Just because I ain't skinny and dont wear the lastest trends, does not mean I dont love and appreciate fashion like the other fashion bloggers. I personally love the part about not all men who love fashion and dress well are gay and "big is beautiful too". I have had body issues all my life, and only now I am learning to deal with it. Thank you for it.
    Love, Amena.
    Fashionopolis By Amena
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  • April 10, 2012

    Stumbled upon your blog and happy to discover it 🙂 Totally relate to this post…Well written 🙂

    ♡ StylishByNature.com

  • April 10, 2012

    wonderful post….yess, we are so hardbrained to stereotype…!!


  • April 10, 2012

    thank you for this post! I agree with your thoughts and I also like the way you put it all up.
    great blog, keep on going! I'll be there as your reader

    Inside and Outside Blog

  • April 10, 2012

    Yes, we need to shed the stereotype and accept the bigger picture in any situation. Loved the way you handled the topic. All the best for the contest.

  • April 12, 2012

    Great post ! The subject of biasness has been written in a very sensitive manner.

  • April 23, 2012

    To tell in hyderabadi language
    Its 'Kiraak'
    Nicely written
    Well done yaar..
    Also Check out mine.Give your comment on it.
    Are Hijra's(TransGender) not a Human being.?

  • July 2, 2012

    Amazing Post. Love your blog. Truly!

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