Stereotypes - Part 2

Once I began thinking on the topic of stereotypes I started to wonder what stereotypes other people might develop about me - what does my Black, vegetarian, natural-haired appearance convey to those who don't know me?

My Black-of-the-lighter-persuasion complexion: (1) that I have a white parent; (2) that I'm ill-informed about my white or Black family history; (3) that I'm regularly approached to dance in hip hop videos.

Reality: (1) false- two Black parents, one being light-skinned. The light complexion goes beyond my maternal great-grandparents, back to I don't know where (a plantation I expect, but which one. WHICH ONE?!!!); (2) true in that I don't know exactly where the mixing started (again, which plantation?); and (3) false - and luckily too because I'm somewhat rhythmically challenged and lack a booty to clap.

On being a vegetarian: (1) that I'm a enviro-loving tree hugger, (2 ) that I spend time trying to convince my friends to see the light and give up eating meat.

Reality: (1) true (LOVE the trees), and I'm working to become a better environmentalist daily. I recently dusted off my bike and started cycling to the permitting of course (baby steps people, baby steps); and (2) false (I hope). I like to think I'm a live-and-let-live kind of person, and my friends eat enough meat around me to make me feel comfortable in their carnivorous future.

On my natural hair: (1) that being "natural" extends beyond my hair (e.g.natural beauty products); (2) that I'm a conscious Black woman; (3) or that I wear my locs more for fashion.

Reality: (1) true, and much like my environmentalist nature, I'm working to get better all the time. Still way too many non-natural products in my life but I'm working on it; (2) true-ish. I'm aware and interested in the state of my people, but seem to limit my involvement to discussions only (note to self - need to work on this); and (3) false. I stopped 'relaxing' my hair (although there's nothing relaxing about the process), as a conscious choice and naturally progressed from afro to locs.

So overall it looks like I do live out some of the possible stereotypes that I might convey to others. And I feel that's okay as long as I'm cool with it (which I am), and that others who want to get to know me do exactly that, and find out what lies beyond just what they see.

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