Starting a Dialogue

Freshman Anna Kosnic expresses her feelings toward the stereotype, Just because Im a girl doesnt mean Im not athletic, through her stoic face.

Freshman Anna Kosnic expresses her feelings toward the stereotype, “Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I’m not athletic”, through her stoic face.


In high school, almost 100 percent of the student and teacher population face stereotypes on a daily basis. Individuals can be categorized by aspects such as their gender and race to their looks and abilities.

“A lot of people think that just because I’m white that I’m dumb, and because I’m a girl, I’m not athletic,” Freshman Abby Janiga said. “I’m categorized by my physical appearance and not my abilities.”

While Janiga shares her experience with categorization by outward appearances, Freedom High School biology teacher, Hyun Yim, was mostly stereotyped based on her gender and race.

“I have been stereotyped based on my gender and background because I’m a female and an Asian,” Yim said.

Growing up, Yim was constantly told by friends and family members what she was expected to become and achieve in the future.

“Everyone around told me that because I’m Asian and smart that I’m going to become a doctor or a lawyer,” Yim said.

Janiga and Yim took steps to disprove the stereotypes and labels used to define who others thought they were. They achieved their goals to do what they love everyday. For Yim, going to school to teach her students everyday is her passion. For Janiga, running winter track and playing as a forward in soccer is what she does best.

“I graduated with honors [from] grad school,” Yim said. “That just shows my passion for what I do; and the fact that I’m doing it right now, that’s probably my greatest accomplishment.”

“I get tired of people always making fun of me because I’m a certain race and I have particular talents and interests.” Janiga said. “I made a promise to myself to always try my best at school, track, and soccer to prove all the haters wrong.”

FHS math teacher, Shieun Park, shares his indifferent, yet powerful opinion on the matter.

“On top of [racial injustice] for high schoolers, I think it’s more about self image,” Park said. “A lot of people stereotype themselves and think, ‘Oh, I fit in this stereotype, why am I doing this?’ We’re worrying about how it defines us rather than us defining it. We just need to look at it in a different light and just say ‘Okay! Someone thinks this about me, but what am I going to do about it?’”

There are so many different ways a person can be labeled; based on the way they look, what their background is or what gender they are. However, what will be done about it? Are you going to let someone’s meaningless label for you define your entire life? Or are you going to decide what will happen?