Through the years, pop culture has introduced to us several ideas so many times that we’ve now come to believe them to be true. Repetition must mean it's factual, right? Well, not necessarily. In this week’s list, we’ll reveal to you the stories behind some of the most heavily utilized stereotypes in the media!
Rabbits and carrots have time and again been associated to one another. Even the iconic Bugs Bunny is rarely (if not never) seen without a carrot in hand! But it turns out that sweet things and fruits like apples and banana are the accurate staples in a rabbit’s diet. Carrots only became associated with rabbits after the creators of Bugs Bunny started it, and even then it was only done as a parody of a scene from Clark Gable’s film “It Happened One Night” (1934), seen in the video above.
“Sugar, spice, and everything nice”
This phrase has been used loads of times to describe adorable little girls. Case in point: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, collectively known as the “Powerpuff Girls”, who were quite literally made of these things (and Chemical X!). This often-quoted phrase actually came from a line in an old poem, “What Folks are Made of” by British poet Robert Southy. This poem actually described what babies, little boys, young men, young women, sailors, soldiers, nurses, fathers, mothers, old men, old women, and all folks “are made of,” too!
Mice and cheese
Literally every mouse depicted in the media seems to love cheese, ultimately leading us to set up this food item on mouse traps in the hopes of luring these pests. But before you grab another bit of cheese for your trap, you might want to know that mice actually don’t like it. At all. Apparently, they just didn’t have a choice back when refrigerators have yet to be invented so they just eat whatever they could easily find in the pantry. Cheese was a staple item even then, and people were said to have caught mice in the act feasting on it.
Policemen’s donut fixation
This has got to be the most popular idea that has come to be associated with our law enforcers. You probably can’t even count how many times you’ve encountered it in films and television! It’s obviously a stereotype, for not all policemen could possibly prefer this sugary treat over any other type of food, yet the media continues to depict this whenever possible. So where did this idea come from? Back in the day, donut shops were said to be the only ones operating well into the night, preparing the goods that will be sold the following morning. As this was the case, policemen who do rounds late at night would drop by these places when they wanted to have a bite.
From Marilyn Monroe to Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde”, blondes being portrayed as pretty airheads is one of the most exploited stereotypes ever in fiction. But really, it’s a hasty, incorrect, and possibly even insulting generalization! So who’s the culprit behind this? It’s the 18th century playwright named Landrin who produced a one-act play with such character in the lead. Landrin was said to have been based on the French courtesan Rosalie Duthe. Duthé, quite understandably, wasn’t too happy about this. She even “tried to offer her kissing services to any poet who would write something good about her” to counter the success of Landrin’s play! No one took the offer, however.
This list was based on Listverse’s 10 Fascinating Origins of Pop Culture Stereotypes, where information were also sourced from.
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