Endless stereotypes in Glee

On the surface, Glee looks like a happy musical television show, however, the more you watch it, the more obvious the stereotypes become.  Glee appears to have someone from almost every ethnic background available on the show and they’re all into singing anywhere anytime.  Here’s a few of the common stereotypes found on Glee.  The two Asian characters on the show have the same last name. The awkward Jewish character has an afro and his name is Ben Israel; he’s also as sexually deranged as Gladstone. The Latina cheerleader is actually named Santana Lopez, and there’s even an Irish exchange student who is immediately believed to be a leprechaun whom can bring luck to the students.  The African American girl always sings the big gospel notes, the gay kids have the great fashion sense and excellent hairstyles.  There is a student advisor that is red headed and often referred to as crazy, aka the crazy red head.  The Asians are all very good in school and the students often copy their work and cheat off of them on tests because they’re Asian, they must be smart!  There is also a fiery, underprivileged Latina who also happens to be a lesbian, a blonde cheerleader who is so dumb that she has a negative GPA and so many others.  Another stereotype is the abusive jock that bullies the gay kids so he can look superior in front of his friends.  In one episode, the bully actually realizes that he is in fact gay and tries to hang himself in his bedroom with a belt. Everyone is a something on this show.  One episode revolved around a Jewish girl wanting a nose job to look like one of the white characters and it included a duet of the two girls singing “I Feel Pretty.”  Their message was that we’re all beautiful just the way we are, even if we’re not normal.  The episode this happened in was called “Born This Way.”  Another episode entitled “Asian F” is about one of the Asian characters getting an A-, which is so terrible that his father demands daily drug testing for him. And that’s such a great example of why Glee continues to float under the radar, because they made that ridiculous stereotype the focus of an entire episode. Glee’s producers seem to think that by shoving their parade of characters and their intense stereotypes in your face, rather than having them be subtle, it negates it all.  They seem to think that because the stereotypes are acknowledged that it isn’t an issue, but this of course is not the case for the people that it affects.



2 thoughts on “Endless stereotypes in Glee

  1. Your detailing of the different stereotypes in Glee demonstrate a limited view of many “types” of students. How might this reflect some of the stages of representation or other concepts from class?

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