I heard a woman with a French accent say, "Ooh La La" today as she walked past the Equinox on Greenwich St. There are neon lights in the window and a pair of racy, insanely high heeled boots hanging from a rainbow-ed backdrop. It is worthy of attention.
I thought to myself a bit sheepishly, French people actually say that!? I was in high school in the 90s. I remember that actors in the video's in French class would say seemingly cheesy lines like "Zut Allor!" and "Ooh La La!" I didn't believe these the French actually said these then, and definitely not twenty years later. Maybe you can understand my excitement?
I must of thought back then that it was just a way to get us to learn these phrases, and not really what the culture is like.
It made me think about stereotyping. I was celebrating this woman's reaction while thinking about stereotyping. I was thinking that socially, I couldn't be as excited to hear her say "Ooh La La" as I actually was because I wouldn't want to appear to be stereotyping anyone.
It's a human thing to simplify. Simplification is essentially the act of stereotyping.
I believe that stereotyping has been the root of evil in history and still is today. However, can we still get pleasure when we see or hear a cool difference in language or in culture?
I think it's the acting on stereotypes that's bad. That reducing people to one dimensional beings and treating them like one dimensional beings is the evil.