The “S*** ____ Say” (from here on out, “stuff”) videos currently circulating the Internet have been wonderfully entertaining. Despite how funny they can be, the videos bring to mind the more serious issue of stereotypes.
The videos adopt a social group’s lexicon, exaggerating the stereotypes in a way that is often very funny. But most of us can’t help watching and realizing that we can identify, at least a little bit.
I could very well see the next wave of “Stuff ____ Say” videos turning into college stereotypes: “Stuff MIT Students Say,” “Stuff BYU Students Say” or “Stuff UC Santa Barbara Students Say.” And we’ve got to admit — a “Stuff Georgetown Students Say” video would be hilarious.
Why? Because Georgetown is very easily stereotyped.
This is partly because our student body can be profiled as a collection of senator’s sons and ambassador’s daughters. Are polo shirts everywhere? Yes. Are girls a blend of Topanga from “Boy Meets World,” Regina from “Mean Girls” and Disney’s Minnie Mouse? Yes.
Are we the one percent? Maybe that’s going too far.
Usually the “Stuff ____ Say” videos find the most success among members of the stereotype they target — girls relate to and understand the ones about girls, Asians can’t get enough of the Asian dad video and yoga fanatics just adore the Lululemon’s Yogis clip.
But our video would probably have the most success beyond the front gates, except perhaps for Harvard’s or Yale’s. Partly, this is because people equate Georgetown with privilege, and the fact that students get equal treatment and still work for their grades is eclipsed by this stereotype.
When an overarching idea penetrates people’s perceptions, it causes them to disregard reality. The experience of trudging through Red Square to class or being yelled at by Lauinger Library security guards for bringing a King’s Chai into the third floor reading room are phenomena even a senator’s son experiences here.
A “Stuff Georgetown Students Say” video would become so popular and hilarious because it wouldn’t necessarily be true. Rather, it would display stereotypes that largely prove to be untrue.
Yes, many scoff at the wealthy kid who complains or brags about being at a top-tier university. But behind the image resides an engaged college student. Despite the number of diverse alums whose lives prove this conclusion, I think the stereotype will remain.
Most of the videos do capture moments of truth and manage to have some good fun while doing it. The best of the videos capture both truth and stereotypes. However, many other videos advance stereotypes that have little basis in reality. We shouldn’t accept those stereotypes at face value.
Masha Goncharova is a sophomore in the College.