Stereotype-a depiction or description of something or someone in an over-simplified way. Stereotypes are descriptions that are believed by the public at large, but that might not be true. Stereotypes are most often applied to a group of people, or to someone as a representative of a group.
1. Saying that all women are bad drivers
2. Saying that men don't ever ask for directions
3. Saying that older people don't know how to use technology
4. Saying that all little girls want to grow up to be princesses
5. Saying that smart girls are not pretty
Examples of Stereotypes from Literature and Film
1. On the television series, "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj are stereotypical characters-"nerdy scientists" who are socially awkward. They also have a stereotypical "ditzy blonde" neighbor, Penny.
2. In the movie, How to Lose a Man in 10 Days, Kate Hudson plays Andie Anderson, a journalist who turns herself into the stereotypical "clingy girlfriend."
3. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Mr. Ewell is the stereotypical "poor white" man in the South.
4. The "wicked stepmother" is a stereotype made popular by many fairy tales-"Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," "Cinderella."
5. Women in action movies and in fairy tales are often depicted as "damsels in distress," who need to be rescued. One example is Mary Jane Watson in the Spider Man movies. Another example, from video games, is Princess Zelda.