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Stereotypes Quotes to Challenge Your Thinking

These stereotype quotes will have you critically thinking about some of the thoughts and feelings we experience.

Have you ever knowingly or unknowingly stereotyped someone or been a victim of a stereotype?

Share your story with us in the comment section.

A stereotype is defined as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

We have all felt them at some point in our lives.

Stereotypes grow to become commonly “known” beliefs about certain social groups or individuals.

Sometimes we are unaware we are stereotyping others.

For example, oftentimes elderly people are stereotyped when seeking employment opportunities or for their driving skills.

Stereotypes and prejudice are synonyms for one another, because, like prejudice, a stereotype is based on prior assumptions and is often created about a person’s race, culture, class, religious beliefs, or gender.

If you’ve ever been stereotyped or if you have stereotyped someone unknowingly, these quotes about stereotypes will give you some context and food for thought.

Don’t forget to also check out these belief quotes questioning everything you thought was true.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Check out our entire collection of motivational quotes here.

Quotes About Breaking Stereotypes

1. “I love breaking stereotypes.”- Eugenio Derbez

2. “Don’t live up to your stereotypes.”- Sherman Alexie

3. “Stereotypes do exist, but we have to walk through them.”- Forest Whitaker

4. “In many ways, being yourself is dispelling stereotypes.”- Franchesca Ramsey

5. “Breaking stereotypes and my own barriers is great fun, because that’s what leads to growth.”- Kirti Kulhari

6. “I don’t want to be fake. I’m just being me. And I have the power to break stereotypes and whatever useless rules that society puts on us.”- Bad Bunny

7. “At the end of the day, I’m a human being and I just think that’s what it is. Challenging stereotypes by just being who I am.”- Tinie Tempah

8. “I am conscious of the community that I’m representing and don’t play into stereotypes”- Diane Guerrero

9. “Certain stereotypes are being broken: that only people with a certain profile can be actresses or be on the cover of magazines.”- Yalitza Aparicio

10. “We put stereotypes on ourselves. Everybody does that. But I think it’s just a little harder for black kids to just be who they are.”- Donald Glover

11. “My goal is to be myself, and to challenge stereotypes, and to follow the rules, and break them, and make new rules. It’s not about doing something that’s already been done. That would be silly.”- Sasha Grey

12. “Who said that being Latino is to be a stereotype? Characters are stereotypes when making plans or without shades. I do not believe in the picture or model established in the movies.”- Edgar Ramirez

13. “I think it’s time we start chipping away at the stereotypes in Hollywood about the Middle East, and the Arab World, because it’s one of the most beautiful regions in the world.” – Mena Massoud

Stereotypes Quotes About Rejecting Them

14. “I don’t believe in stereotypes. Most of the time, stereotypes are just that.”- Javier Bardem

15. “We must reject not only the stereotypes that others have of us but also those that we have of ourselves.”- Shirley Chisholm

16. “I believe it’s on everyone – men and women – to knock down stereotypes and outdated assumptions.”- Stephanie Ruhle

17. “Stereotypes should never influence policy or public opinion.” – Janet Reno

18. “Attempting to get at truth means rejecting stereotypes and cliches.”- Harold Evans

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19. “We shouldn’t judge people through the prism of our own stereotypes.”- Queen Rania of Jordan

20. “Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”- Colin Powell

21. “I feel disheartened when I see stereotypes, because it’s untrue and unfair. It just raises the level of inequality.”- Sonoya Mizuno

22. “First, you have stereotypes, and that will be the black drug dealer, the east Asian kung fu master, the Middle Eastern terrorist in ‘True Lies.’ Then you have stuff that takes place on culturally specific terrain, that engages with it, but actually subverts assumptions. ‘Smashes’ stereotypes. That’s where I’ve come into the game.”- Riz Ahmed

Stereotypes Quotes About Women

23. “The stereotypes really play into what kinds of companies women can get funded for.” – Anita Borg

24. “I didn’t want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of aging and older women not being beautiful.”- Annie Leibovitz

25. “I never feel confined by gender, by labels, by expectations, by stereotypes. I’m free to be myself.”- Princess Nokia

26. “Writers write these male stereotypes, and it makes it ten times more interesting if a woman says the lines.”- Sigourney Weaver

27. “I feel like I’m here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women.”- Halima Aden

28. “What I will not do is continue to perpetuate stereotypes. I’m the daughter of a maid; why do I have to also play a maid? My mom was a maid so I didn’t have to be a maid.”- Gina Rodriguez

29. “Negative gender stereotypes related to girls’ education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics begin as early as primary school and have the devastating effect of making them doubt their own potential.” – Antonio Guterres

30. “I wanted to do Playboy to get across the same ideas I’m singing and writing about these days. It’s all about proving that a woman can defy stereotypes.” – Jody Watley

31. “The stereotypes of feminists as ugly, or man-haters, or hairy, or whatever it is – that’s really strategic. That’s a really smart way to keep young women away from feminism, is to kind of put out this idea that all feminists hate men, or all feminists are ugly; and that they really come from a place of fear.” – Jessica Valenti

32. “I am proud to be able to exhibit my work and inspire young people. Especially young black women so they know that they are beautiful, that they don’t have to hold onto any negative stereotypes.” – Mickalene Thomas

Stereotypes Quotes About Their Limitations

33. “Stereotypes happen. I try not to embrace them or avoid them.” – Danny Pudi

34. “A stereotype may be negative or positive, but even positive stereotypes present two problems: They are cliches, and they present a human being as far more simple and uniform than any human being actually is.” – Nancy Kress

35. “When people rely on surface appearances and false racial stereotypes, rather than in-depth knowledge of others at the level of the heart, mind and spirit, their ability to assess and understand people accurately is compromised.” – James A. Forbes

36. “We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.” – Sheryl Sandberg

37. “Dressing in an androgynous way, mixing up the masculine and feminine, blurring those boundaries – I’m cool with that. No one should ever be limited by stereotypes of gender, just as no one should ever be limited by stereotypes of race.” – Marley Dias

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38. “Many black youths are defying stereotypes, achieving good academic results, finding employment and contributing to their communities. But helping those who fall behind is not an exercise in political correctness, it is a precisely what a compassionate – and sensible – state should concern itself with.” – David Lammy

39. “I read recently that the problem with stereotypes isn’t that they are inaccurate, but that they’re incomplete. And this captures perfectly what I think about contemporary African literature. The problem isn’t that it’s inaccurate, it’s that it’s incomplete.” – Taiye Selasi

40. “I have been a victim of stereotypes. I come from Latin America and to some countries, we are considered ‘losers,’ drug traffickers, and that is not fair because that is generalizing.” – Ricky Martin

41. “Racism is a perceptive error, and what you actually have to do is you have to get into spaces where you’re meeting people and perceiving them as human beings and not as racial stereotypes and myths.” – Thomas Chatterton Williams

Quotes About Stereotypes Being True

42. “The thing about stereotypes as we all know, there is often truth in them, but it’s almost always a partial truth.” – Alex Tizon

43. “Stereotypes exist because there’s always some truth to stereotypes. Not always, but often.”- Maz Jobrani

44. “All stereotypes turn out to be true. This is a horrifying thing about life. All those things you fought against as a youth: you begin to realize they’re stereotypes because they’re true.”- David Cronenberg

45. “People are much deeper than stereotypes. That’s the first place our minds go. Then you get to know them and you hear their stories, and you say, ‘I’d have never guessed.’” – Carson Kressley

Stereotype Quotes Humor

46. “Some people say my humor focuses too much on stereotypes. It doesn’t. It focuses on facts.” – Sarah Silverman

47. “We judge people based on their clothes, social class, and, dare I say, ethnicity. Our comedians make light of these stereotypes regularly, and we laugh at their accuracy.” – Lecrae

Stereotype Quotes about Men

48. “I despise stereotypes. A gay man can be a macho athlete, or he can be an interior designer or any career in between.” – Lori Foster

49. “Why should men be constrained by antiquated stereotypes of masculinity? What does it even mean to ‘Be a Real Man’ anymore? Shouldn’t we all be celebrating a wide range of definitions of manhood?” – Andy Dunn

50. “Men are more likely to be introverted than women are, but it’s really very slight. But the real difference I think is in how it plays out, how it relates to cultural stereotypes.” – Susan Cain

Stereotype Quotes To Help You Overcome Negative Attributions

51. “There’s a difference between being yourself and being your stereotype.” — Iggy Azalea

52. “The silhouette says a lot with very little information, but that’s also what the stereotype does.” — Kara Walker

53. “You ought to stop listening to stereotypes and start forming your own opinions.” — Stephanie Perkins

54. “People are incapable of stereotyping you; you stereotype yourself because you’re the one who accepts roles that put you in this rut or in this stereotype” — Eva Mendes

55. “There are a lot of stereotypes to be broken which I think a lot of us are doing. What I do is, as soon as people try to pin me down to one kind of part, I’ll play a very different kind of role, so it explodes that stereotype.” — Joan Chen

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56. “As you get older, your mind gets a little more set. And it needs the poking and prodding and breaking through of stereotypes that I think young people provide.” — Barack Obama

57. “Ethnic stereotypes are boring and stressful and sometimes criminal. It’s just not a good way to think. It’s non-thinking. It’s stupid and destructive.” — Tommy Lee Jones

58. “I believe that I have created a lot of cognitive dissonance in the minds of people who are comfortable with stereotypes.” — Hillary Clinton

59. “A man demonstrates his rationality, not by a commitment to fixed ideas, stereotyped procedures, or immutable concepts, but by the manner in which, and the occasions on which, he changes those ideas, procedures, and concepts.” — Stephen Toulmin

60. “Stereotypes are fast and easy, but they are lies, and the truth takes its time.” — Deb Caletti

Thought Provoking Stereotype Quotes

61. “A stereotype becomes a stereotype when a significant percentage of the population appears to conform to it.” ― Kelley Armstrong

62. “Stereotypes wouldn’t be so bad if black people were nicer, in general.” ― Anthony Jeselnik

63. “It’s not a stereotype if it’s always true.” ― Daniel Tosh

64. “I am a stereotype. I am an effeminate man.” ― Quentin Crisp

65. “I was starting to buy into my own sort of stereotype in a way.” ― Jennifer Aniston

66. “Math has a lot of negative stereotypes, but it can actually be fun and incredibly empowering.” ― Danica McKellar

67. “It is given to no human being to stereotype a set of truths, and walk safely by their guidance with his mind’s eye closed.” ― John Stuart Mill

68. “I think if you give in and accept society’s stereotypes, then you start thinking, ‘I cannot dance till late at night because I’m 70.’” ― Yoko Ono

69. “We want to be seen as more than just martial artists, or bad stereotype token roles in American TV and movies.” ― Dat Phan

70. “If vampires ever spend less time playing theatrics and living down to their stereotypes, they might actually take over the world someday.” ― Carrie Vaughn

What did you learn from these stereotype quotes

Some stereotypes are unconsciously present in our minds and create biases we are unaware of.

Has anyone ever said or felt something about you just because of the way you look or talk or where you come from?

Have you ever thought or assumed something about another for the same reason?

When you see an elderly person crossing an intersection, is your thought to admire their willingness to stroll at a speed that works for them, or is it to judge the speed at which they walk because of stereotypes that suggest elderly people are slow and feeble?

We train our minds to make observations and remember details about the things and people we experience.

However, sometimes we fall into the trap of making an assumption about an individual or group that we have little to no experience with to validate our assumption.

It is wise to treat each individual as an individual, fully living in the “present” moment of each experience.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these stereotype quotes and sayings?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Clifton Sankofa
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