What Young People Say

We scoured the web to find influential young people who’ve already battled stereotyping in their own way to get to where they are now.

It turns out that everyone has a story to tell on stereotyping, regardless of where they come from or where they’re headed. And all are in agreement: stereotyping doesn’t have to start with you.

Tomi Adebayo

aka Gadgets Boy

Tomi is a creative tech-guru who is always seeking opportunities to bridge the gap between technology and creativity. He loves to write about consumer technology, sharing insights and helping others understand it better.

STEREO-types score: 15/25 SO-SO

Tomi Adebayo stereotypes avatar results

Do you think young people are right to be stereotyped?

“I can understand why young people are stereotyped on the road because there are various stats pointing to young drivers and their driving behaviours when it comes to accidents or police incidents. Young people take more risks and think about the consequences after.

Having said that, though, I don't think it should be used as the first line of consideration when incidents occur, because all young people are not the same. I think everyone is a little bit guilty of tarring young people with the same brush of being irresponsible and generally not taken very seriously – whether it’s for reasons such as music taste, fashion choices etc. ”

Have you ever been stereotyped? What advice would you give to young people who have been?

“I have been stereotyped many times before, especially as a young black individual growing up in a rough part of the country where even driving a nice car carries various stigmas.

When stereotyped, it's ok to speak up without being offensive to whoever it is you find yourself in that situation with. Showing or proving otherwise will soon change someone else's opinion about you as a young person.”
tomi adebayo next to a river jumping

What do you feel young people are often most stereotyped over?

“I have stereotyped someone many times, however, mostly subconsciously due to the everyday occurrences that I have been exposed to.

I think it's normal to some extent, as long as you know where to draw the line and again not use it as the first line of proof to draw or arrive at a conclusion.

Stereotyping works both ways and I can get pulled over and automatically say I'm been pulled over because I'm young and driving a Ferrari, but it's also vital not to mix stereotyping with profiling.”

You can find out more about Tomi on http://www.gadgetsboy.co.uk/

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Ryan Clark

Editor, GroomingMail.com

STEREO-types score: SO-SO

Ryan Clarke Stereotypes avatar result

Do you feel young people are often stereotyped as bad drivers?

“As a young driver myself, I’ve personally never really felt stereotyped in that way, but there is definitely a view that young drivers can be reckless and careless. Day to day, when I think about times I have experienced poor driving from others, young drivers are rarely involved.

Actually, when taking my driving lessons, my driving instructor said drivers that have recently just passed their tests are more highly trained compared to drivers who have been driving for years and this mirrors what I have experienced when on the road.

On the flip side, all it takes is one idiotic young driver trying to show off to change people’s opinions back to the stereotype us responsible young drivers are trying to ditch.”
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Have you ever been stereotyped or been in a situation where someone else was?

“In terms of my driving ability, no I have never been stereotyped. But, when it comes to people seeing my car for the first time, they tend to make the typical 'bad-boy racer' comment.

Don’t get me wrong, my car isn’t the best but there is a perception of young people who take pride and work hard to have/maintain a nice car that they will be pushing the speed limit on every occasion.

Alternatively, I always make a joke about it 'being best to put your seat belt on' when driving with a passenger. I guess by doing that, I’m not really helping to change people’s perceptions of young drivers either.”

What do you feel young people are often most stereotyped over?

“As the saying goes, 'with age comes wisdom', but that shouldn’t have to mean that young people aren’t wise or have little life experience by default. The harsh reality is that this is often the brush that we’re all tarnished with.

Sure, there are some young people who are lazy, unreliable and selfish, who fit the common young people stereotype. The type who would rather spend a day in bed, watching Jeremy Kyle while updating their social media profiles rather than pursuing a career. I guess for those who are fine doing that then they have no real stereotypes to overcome but for those driven, young professionals like me, we face a hard, long barrier to knock down. The barrier that because we’re young, we should sit back and listen, rather than speak up and offer our ideas and opinions.

I feel myself being stereotyped every day by complete strangers at work, strangers who only see the person standing in front of them, a person who is young and must therefore be in-experienced with no credible, game-changing ideas.

The harsh reality is that I feel the younger generation have to fight harder to get their ideas heard and be respected for them, in the corporate world. When our ideas are heard we then have the whole 'wasn’t expecting that' response to deal with because young professionals aren’t always expected to have bright, insightful, educated ideas.

But, every year I grow older, I now find myself doing the same thing I hated people doing to me, perceiving a young person to being inexperienced, 'what does he know? He only looks about 18'. It seems it is a vicious circle where we go from being the victims to then judging people on the same standards we hated being judged by. ”

You can find out more about Ryan on groomingmail.co.uk

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Amy Thomas

Motorsport Student, Marmalade Ambassador

STEREO-types score: TBC

Amy is currently studying Motorsport Technology at university and if you hadn’t guessed she’s a massive motoring buff! While cars and motorbikes are her passion, her dream is to become an F1 race engineer.

Do you feel young people are often stereotyped as bad drivers?

"Yes, I feel that most people see young drivers as 'hooligans' and 'boy racers' when most of us aren't – we just want a car to get us from A to B! I've felt like I can often be pushed around by other drivers because I am young and also because I'm a girl. But if people don't like the fact that I like to drive within the legal limits than that's their fault!"

What do you feel young people are often most stereotyped over?

“Well, I've been stereotyped as a geek and a tomboy as I love cosplaying, going to comic con, I'm into motorsport and I do engineering! However, I do agree that young people stereo type drivers – I’m guilty of this myself. I've often called someone on the road a grandad or a ‘Sunday driver’”
Ambassador picture of Amy Thomas

What is your advice to young people who feel stereotyped?

“I would say to young people who feel stereotyped to ignore what people think and just keep doing what you're doing, in the end, all that matters is that you're driving safely and also being happy!”

You can find out more about Amy on /blog/ambassadors/Amy-Thomas

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Jim Knight

AKA Jimmericks

Jim is an outgoing bubbly vlogger and owner of YouTube channel Jimmericks. He’s a sociable person who loves creating interesting content for his viewers.

STEREO-types score: TBC

Ambassador picture of Jim Knight

Have you ever been stereotyped by lifestyle choices?

I’m not too sure... Being quite a stylish person myself, I have never really offered up the opportunity for anyone to stereotype the clothes that I wear as I tend to fit into the ‘vast majority’ of what most people my age tend to wear - so there is nothing that overly stands out about me. I guess my hobbies and music I listen to would put me into the ‘young persons’ category, but I have never received any direct stereotyping or discrimination because of this, so I guess I’ve been quite lucky! 

How do you think people perceive young drivers?

" guess my first thought is that most people perceive us as less experienced, and therefore automatically assume we are more dangerous on the roads. However, in most cases this is not the truth at all. I am also aware that many people would consider younger drivers to be more ‘reckless'."

Have you ever felt stereotyped as a young driver?

Because of the answers to the previous question, I suppose that I do feel stereotyped a lot of the time, especially being a male young driver as there are a lot of stereotypes about ‘young-male, racer-drivers’ where the older generation put us into the category of reckless. After I passed my test, for about a month or so, I felt a lot more comfortable driving around with a green P on the back of my car, so that other road users would be more considerate towards my driving.

We found that young people are twice as likely to stereotype drivers based on their lifestyle choices, than those aged 50 and above – essentially young people stereotype themselves. What do you think about this?

I don’t think I have personally ever stereotyped anyone or even myself. The only time I would perhaps show prejudice towards another driver is by observing their driving style - for example, if a car is driving at ridiculous speeds and blasting out loud music, I would probably think to myself ‘they must be a young male’. But other than this I wouldn’t consider myself as someone who stereotypes others. I would have thought that young people would be the last people to be renowned for stereotyping as we have the least experience in life to base stereotypes upon.

What advice would you give to young people who may feel stereotyped?

I would say, don’t worry about feeling stereotyped. The truth is that most other road users probably don’t actually take a second thought towards you or what your story is. Just drive the way you have been taught and make sure you stay safe, and you are not in the wrong, so no one else can say anything towards you!

Laura Hartley

Student & Blogger, What's Hot?

What's Hot? is a book, film and lifestyle blog, run by Laura. She's a blogger from London, studying French at Oxford University and has just returned from her year abroad in Paris. Her favourite things are reading, frozen yogurt and bubble tea (in that order).

STEREO-types score: 16/25 SO-SO

Laura Hartley reading a book in old building with pillar

Have you ever been stereotyped or been a situation where someone else was?

Yes. I’ve lost count of the number of times when I’ve been out with my friends and we’re all having a laugh and having a good time in public and the older people around you immediately assume that you’re delinquents or bums. I’ve often found that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, be it sportswear, a nice dress or something hipster, you’re still judged in these situations. These moments always make me want to roll my eyes and I want to scream “actually I go to university and do productive things with my life!”

What do you feel young people are often most stereotyped over?

Young people seem to be most often stereotyped according to the way they dress. It’s the first thing that a stranger sees about you and with so many different (and very often strange) fashion trends out there, sense of style often attracts disapproving looks and immediate judgement. We should be celebrating diversity and the fact that people are able to and feel comfortable be themselves today, not stereotyping and discriminating.
Laura Hartley reading a book in old building with pillar

Do you feel young people are often stereotyped?

Yes, young people are stereotyped all the time. Whether good or bad (and it’s mostly bad), people tend to form an impression of young people before we even open our mouths. Young people have received a lot of bad press over the years and I think a large portion of the general public, most notably the older generations, have been influenced by that.

What advice would you give to young people who may feel stereotyped?

Young people should dress/act as they normally would whilst still being respectful of those around them, which should hopefully gradually change people's opinions of them. For example, wear whatever you want but if you're on a tube journey, don't shout across to your friends or use loads if swear words - you're in a public space and should respect everyone around you. Confrontation will often only make matters worse as it may reinforce the stereotype that youngsters have bad manners and are disrespectful, even if what you are saying is legitimate. I think this is one stereotype that will only go away if people continue to act they do, but appreciate that others around you may have different values.

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