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Watermelon stereotype: Black people seem to like watermelons. Postcard from 1911.
The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1899). The painting shows common misconceptions about the event: Pilgrims did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Native Americans from the Great Plains.[1]

A stereotype is a mistaken idea or belief many people have about a thing or group that is based upon how they look on the outside, which may be untrue or only partly true.[2] Stereotyping people is a type of prejudice because what is on the outside is a small part of who a person is. Like other untrue opinions, stereotypes might be used as reasons to discriminate against another person, or sometimes for a humorous effect in fiction.

The term was invented in the late 18th century for a method of printing. In the middle 19th century it meant the faithful duplication of pictures. It got a psychological meaning in the 20th century.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Let's Talk Turkey: 5 myths about the Thanksgiving holiday". The Patriot Ledger. November 26, 2009. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  2. "Word Central Student Dictionary: Definition of Stereotype". Mirriam-Webster. Retrieved 01/14/2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)