Clique Clichés

Perpetuation of stereotypical views of social cliques can be harmful

Nerds are socially awkward and book smart. Jocks are rebellious and unfiltered. Popular girls are exclusive and mean. Theater kids are geeky and dramatic. Those are a few of the many cliques portrayed through the media, specifically movies such as “Mean Girls,” “The Outsiders” and “Sixteen Candles.” The accuracy of the portrayal of cliques in the media is questionable. Many times, the way the cliques are shown throughout the media are, for one, exaggerated and largely based on inaccurate generalizations.

Most times the media shows a clear, distinct line between the popular kids, the geeks, the nerds and the jocks. For example, in various movies the cliques are shown to be separated in a cafeteria setting and you would only be able to sit with a certain group if you fell into that group’s criteria. This propagates the idea that an individual can only inherently fall into one group and there is no possible way someone can be a nerd and a jock.

This can lead people, especially kids, to force themselves to fit into a certain clique in order to find like minded people. A kid can ignore some of their interests and beliefs so that they can be accepted into a singular group. This can be damaging for kids who feel the need to fit it and conform to a certain group’s criteria. People can lose their uniqueness in the fight to fit into a clique.

The portrayal of cliques in the media can also be damaging for people who are jocks or nerds in real life due to negative stereotypes attached to the titles. Not only is the portrayal of cliques in the media damaging, most times they are overly exaggerated.  People can see these portrayals of cliques and create their own perceptions of certain groups. These perceptions likely will deviate from the truth due to their source of information being the inaccurate generalizations shown throughout the media. This has and continues to lead people to make preconceived judgements about someone before truly giving them a chance to find common ground.

People can encompass traits and hobbies that fall into a variety of “cliques.” In real life, that tends to be the reality more times than there being a distinct separation of cliques in schools. At the end of the day, nerds can also be jocks. Theater kids can also be popular kids. People are not necessarily inherently tied to one clique.