As a natural towhead, I’m a walking punchline for dumb-blond jokes.
Fact is there’s no connection between my stupidity and the luscious locks atop my head. I’m dumb for a whole other set of truths, above and beyond my blond hue that salon colorists can only dream about.
That’s the problem with stereotypes. The connection they draw—in this case, blond equals stupidity—is tenuous at best and fails to account for other circumstances.
As we’re talking stereotypes, I’d like to take this opportunity to confront a few more—the ones that people my age confront daily occasionally. That’s right; I’m part of the so-called millennial generation—a much-maligned and usually misunderstood group of 20-somethings.
Let’s clear up some of the myths about the children of the ’80s, by taking this 10-question quiz. It’s true/false, so you at least have a 50 percent chance on each question. No. 2 pencils ready, and …. begin:
1. Millennials are easily distracted, thereby affecting their work ethic and professional demeanor.
FALSE: Don’t confuse “distracted” with “uninterested.” We don’t like to waste time, as we’ve been bred to believe time is money. If we were easi …. wait, where were we?
2. Millennials always look for the easy way out.
FALSE: Otherwise, I’d have passed this assignment from my editor on to someone else, or found a post online from someone who’d already covered the topic. I didn’t even bother looking for anything of the sort.
3. Millennials are radical liberals.
FALSE: I am, but I don’t recall having those unintentionally drunken political debates at 3 a.m. by myself. From what I remember, there was a conservative about my age across from me.
4. Millennials are unconcerned with worldly affairs.
FALSE: How do you think bin Laden’s death and the royal wedding became trending topics on Twitter?
5. Millennials are snarky, self-indulged narcissists.
FALSE: I just wrote about this on my Twitter account, where you can follow me @iquotesometimes. I’ll also have an unwritten memoir, as well as an untitled one-man show coming soon. I know—without “me,” it’s just aweso.
6. Millennials are the future.
TRUE: As was the generation before us, and the generation before them, and the generation before them. It’s nothing special. It’s just how it goes.
7. Millennials are great team workers.
TRUE: Though past generations might’ve adhered to a sink or swim, survival of the fittest attitude, millennials are social creatures who have always been taught to play nice with others and work as a group—even when their professor stuck them with the worst of the worst in COM 317.
8. Millennials are perhaps the most diverse, progressive generation in U.S. history.
TRUE: From their political stance to their attitude toward equal rights, not to mention their very demographic makeup, millennials stand at the brink of a more global society that’s less ethnocentric than its predecessors.
9. Millennials never finish what they start.
FALSE (but TRUE in this case): Of course we finish things. I finished undergrad, and it only took me seven short years. Kidding—six-and-a-half. However, I decided not to finish this post, which is why we’re ending this list at No. 9 instead of giving you the full 10. What do you want from me? “The Voice” is on.
10. Millennials fight authority.
FALSE: My editor told me there had to be a No. 10.