Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stereotypes - tabloid or societal?

(Sometimes posts sit in draft for a long time ...)

Just over three weeks ago, I was sitting in the Orient in Ballyhackamore awaiting our Chinese takeaway. The Sun was the only newspaper lying around.

Big Brother had just begun, and the middle "daily four page pull-out" heralded details about the 16 housemates who found their way into the BB house for the latest series.

But rather than just labelling their mugshots with their names, a trite nickname had been invented.

Gymslip mum - Albino - Tree hugger - Bible basher - Mincer - Flop star - Show-off - Swot - Shorty - The odd couple - Ego maniac - Drifter - Nutter - Playboy - Blind comic (the mildest - perhaps insulting disability is one step too far for the Sun!)

Three weeks on, and some of these folk will have left the house, and be edging out of the media spotlight ... and police enquiries!

Despite setting themselves up for the media intrusion and public comment by entering the well-established and well-understood reality show, it still felt objectionable that they should have been given a label and reduced to a stereotype.

Is it just a tabloid obsession to reduce people to a memorable moniker, or is it a tendancy of us all. Are we a nation of stereotypers?

1 comment:

Timothy Belmont said...

Very good point Alan; I think it happens a lot. It is a means of jogging the memory.

I do it myself when I write notes at home if I've been out with a voluntary group; especially if there's someone new. for instance: plump so-and-so; bus-driver so-and-so; A****n Big B****ts !

I stress that it's all in the privacy of my own home and I keep it to myself. No malice intended, just a memory-jogger.

I wouldn't countenance it for public perusal!