I just watched this movie called The Pregnancy Project. It was a low budget lifetime movie and I didn't expect much from it. Now I think that this movie should be shown in every high school everywhere. The girl in the movie decides for a senior project that she will fake a pregnancy. Why would someone do that you ask? Very good question. Initially her project was to prove that she was not a statistic, but it quickly turned into a project about stereotypes. Very few people knew about the project, a few teachers, her boyfriend, her mother, and a few close friends. Each one kept a journal of what was said about her and her pregnancy. At the end of the movie, the girl reveals that she isn't pregnant in a very public school assembly.
Ok great you saw a movie, why are you talking about it in your blog. I'm very glad you asked me that. I want to talk to you all about stereotypes. There's been a lot of cyber bullying going on lately. I see it on author pages, blog pages, blogger Facebook pages, in the hush hush talk in groups. You see it in reviews, on Goodreads, and in the forums. Everyone has a stereotype, some more than others.
I got pregnant my Sophomore year in college, I got to see the stereotyping first hand. I got to see people who I respected and loved tell me that they were disappointed in me. I had to give up college my second (and last) semester so that I wouldn't lose my baby. People didn't understand that, I was working, going to school, and I was pregnant all at once. Going through the first trimester with all that stress was truly very hard. I was driving 30 miles to school one way going to school all day then going to my part time job at night. I was 19 years old.
After I left school, I continued working, I was lucky, I had amazing parents and I got married that summer. Not because I was pregnant, but because we were in love. You may scoff at that, but you know what, I'm going on 20 years of marriage. Once we had the baby we had to deal with more stereotypes. I had doctors tell me, You're too young to have a child. It was very discouraging. We kept plugging along, we didn't fit the stereotypical young parents. Babies don't come with a book telling you about the care and feeding of a child. That doesn't happen, we made our mistakes but we came back stronger afterward.
Authors themselves are brought into stereotypes. People think Authors must have perfect English, maybe English majors so they have to punctuate perfectly. If they don't, that's what editors are for. Do you have perfect English or do you have an editor read your every word? Do people critique you on what comma, period, exclamation point, semi colon, you use in your life? Each day, do they give you five stars or zero stars or write scathing reviews because of punctuation? Probably many will answer that's ridiculous, no, they don't do that that's crazy. It's the same thing that's done to authors. We are held to such a high stereotype. When in truth? We're people too, we make mistakes. Don't hate us for it. Instead of putting "there were many punctuation problems in the book" why don't you shoot an email to that author saying, "You might not have caught it but..." We'd be glad to hear it!
My daughter has recently been bullied at school, dealing with that took me back to High School when I was stereotyped as fat, nerdy, and unlovable. I felt unloved, worthless, and friendless. You don't get over bullying, it stays with you throughout your life. Back then I weighed 154 lbs....OH MY GOD she's so friggin fat it's incredible. It drove me to a radical and detrimental and life threatening decision. I became anorexic. I wouldn't eat, I got down to 109 lbs and was stick thin and sick by the end of my Senior Year in High School. I became the stereotype that people gave me. I still struggle with my weight, I'm not ashamed to say that. But with supportive friends I'm living with it and I'll beat this struggle. You can too. You can live a good life even if you struggle with your weight. You have to want to do it, and you can want to do it!
I'm here telling you, if you choose to live a good life, you can. You don't have to wish for a better life. Make it happen! You can! Be happy with who you are, and if you're not, change that thing that makes you unhappy. You need to live your inner beautiful. Because you are! If we each stepped out of the mold, changed the way we look at people, and lived our inner beautiful the world would be a better place. Perfect and ideal...maybe not....but if one person changes, or makes that change, or changes someones life it's a step in the right direction!
It is up for you to decide. Do you want to change the world and make it better? OR Do you want to give up and live with the stereotypes that make you unhappy. I hope I can inspire you to make the changes that make you happy.