Stereotype Awareness

Stereotype Awareness

I don't discriminate so why should I do this exercise?

Bias and discrimination are a by-product of our culture today. Most stereotypes have been built over time since we were born.

Our scientists have found that even when your values strongly oppose prejudice, stereotypes and bias still pop into your mind; our spontaneous responses are at odds with our values and beliefs. It’s important to bring these sub-conscious ideas into your conscious mind so you can start to change the habit.

Like any bad habit you want to change, it requires first admitting you have it in the first place.

This is not about feeling guilty. This is about recognizing how complicated the brain is and how persistently culture reinforces these stereotypes all around us.

Bias and discrimination are a by-product of our culture today. Most stereotypes have been built over time since we were born.

Our scientists have found that even when your values strongly oppose prejudice, stereotypes and bias still pop into your mind; our spontaneous responses are at odds with our values and beliefs. It’s important to bring these sub-conscious ideas into your conscious mind so you can start to change the habit.

Like any bad habit you want to change, it requires first admitting you have it in the first place.

This is not about feeling guilty. This is about recognizing how complicated the brain is and how persistently culture reinforces these stereotypes all around us.

The role of lip balm in fighting bias

The role of lip balm in fighting bias.

Ok, this may not be obvious, but this is how it works.

We infuse each premium lip balm with an important additional ingredient…this one has curiosity. We hope each time you take care of your lips, you are reminded to also switch on our curiosity, an essential ingredient in un-doing the habit of unconscious bias.

In addition to its job keeping your lips hydrated and soft, 50% of profits go to organizations working to end discrimination.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Do it Yourself. Pep Talk Video

Your brain is stuck on AUTO and you are the only one who can fix it.

No Guilt Trips, Please

No Guilt Trips, Please

Stereotype Awareness in Entertainment

Stereotype Awareness in Entertainment

Approaches that DON'T work

Suppressing Stereotypes: It doesn’t work just to tell ourselves “don’t stereotype.” These ideas we have about people are woven into our whole life. Stereotypes start to form as early as 3 years old, fueled by our environment our brain creates oversimplified labels for people. This unconscious library cannot be removed with brute force. What we need to do instead is be aware of how stereotypes are formed, actively notice when they pop into our mind and then replace them with different responses.

Colorblindness: Attempting to ignore facets of race and cultural groups is not desirable or helpful in overcoming bias. For many people, cultural associations are an important part of how they identify or belong. Ignoring these, whether it’s race, gender, or religion, denies the importance of these cultural associations. When people say they are colorblind, we realize it’s a well-meaning attempt at saying they don’t see people as different or treat people unfairly based on race. It’s an admirable goal, it’s just not the right approach. Instead, we need to activate curiosity about those cultural traits and take the time to recognize how our unconscious stereotypes limit the way we see and understand people.

Belief in personal objectivity: Most good people don’t believe they are bias because their values are such that they believe in equality. It’s unfortunate that it’s not that simple. You have to understand how bias has been coded into your brain and remains in your subconscious, subtly affecting behavior. The brain needs to be re-wired to overcome the habit it has unwittingly developed. Being too confident in your own ability to be objective actually leads to doing nothing. When someone believes they’re objective, they don’t question themselves as much, and that lets bias seep in more. It’s best to accept the humbling possibility that we may be complicit in the perpetuation of bias and realize more work needs to be done on a personal level to un-ravel this cultural phenomenon.

Actors Playing Stereotypes

This video from Upworthy illustrates how the entertainment industry continues to use stereotypical characters, further solidifying simplistic ways of viewing people.

Why Charleston Shooter Isn't Being Called A Terrorist: White Riots vs Black Protests

This piece by Brave New Films illustrates how bias plays out in news media.

Stereotype Awareness - Media

It’s important to see diversity in entertainment because it helps bust stereotypes that have built up over time through lack of representation. Media coverage impacts the subconscious way our brain organizes people.

This recent study by scientists at the University of Southern California illustrates we still have a long way to go to see diversity represented in Hollywood.

11 Things You Wanted to Know About my Turban

Winty SinghThis article at mashupamericans made me think about my own stereotypes around turbans…which is perpetuated by lack of understanding. Thank you, Rupinder Singh, for broadening my perceptions. From now on, I will offer an umbrella to turban-wearing folks in a rainstorm. Plus, I didn’t realize I was mispronouncing the word ‘Sikh’ my whole life.

http://www.mashupamericans.com/issues/is-it-hot-under-there/