The Power of Stereotypes

A stereotype is—

  • Simplification
  • Exaggeration
  • Distortion
  • Generalization

—of common characteristics possessed by members of a group, exaggerated to the point where it becomes funny.

Have you noticed that comedians often use stereotypes to make the audience laugh?

Observe how predictable certain scenarios on TV are and how the talk news reporters and show hosts adhere to the same thing over and over again to make you laugh.

For example, how many times in 007 movies did the villains show Bond their entire evil plans before failing miserably? Bond always breaks into the scene and gets caught but is never executed immediately. The villains always put him through some kind of death machine which never works. What about Bond women? Aren’t they the same women with different hairstyles?

Point those out or imitate them. You can make women laugh this way very easily. And that’s the power of stereotypes.