To stereotype others is a bad thing to do. But many people do it, including me. It’s a difficult line to tread when writing. If you want your characters to be recognised quickly, one of the easiest things to get them noticed is to stereotype them and bang, job done. No character building is necessary; just get them to say “Lovely Jubbly” and their entire back-story is instantly written.
It’s lazy writing though, but are there times when this approach is necessary?
My girlfriend and I were catching up on some TV programmes the other day and we watched the final episode of “The Real Marigold Hotel”, whereby a number of British celebrities paid a visit to Jaipur to experience what retiring there would feel like before deciding whether to committing themselves to doing just that.
An entertaining programme, that not only informed the viewer about the individuals involved but also how India treats its citizens, particularly the elderly; with a lot more respect than they do in the UK, that’s for sure.
At the end of the programme, the celebrities threw a party for all the people who had helped and supported them whilst in Jaipur before they made their way home. Some of them had already committed to a future in India, whilst others were yet to decide.
Bobby George had invited his wife, Marie, over to explore Jaipur further once the cameras had gone, before deciding whether India was for them on a more permanent basis.
If you’ve never seen or experienced Bobby George, he’s the self proclaimed “King of Bling” or “Bobby Dazzler” and lives near Colchester in Essex. He used to play darts professionally, from which he earned his living and continues to do so with appearances on the senior circuit and via TV punditry. And he made a very good living too, seeing as he built his home worth £3.5 million, which had 18 bedrooms plus a bar with a snooker table and dart board: obviously.
Marie was scheduled to arrive just before the party and as the taxi pulled up, I paused the programme and asked my girlfriend what she thought she would look like. Neither of us had seen Marie before and we both agreed she would be blonde, brash and blinged up to the max. How wrong were we!
She was petite, brunette and very caring toward George. Not a bit of bling about her. Mind you she did turn up the Versace volume for the said party, so we felt partially vindicated.
So, using sterotypical imaging doesn’t always turn out to be correct, and quite rightly so.
I still reckon she has a vajazzle though. Gotta be some bling there somewhere.