One Direction fans are basic.
Or at least that was how freshman business administration and economics double major, Michelle Voronel, was labeled. In high school, Voronel was talking to her friend about the boyband when a classmate overheard their conversation and proceeded to stereotype her as “basic.”
“I felt a little annoyed and irritated that I was called the synonym of ‘not unique,’ but I didn’t let that stop me from loving the band at that time,” said Voronel of her days as a fan of the internationally known boyband.
Music is a way for people to express themselves, but according to research done by Peter Rentfrow, Jennifer McDonald, and Julian Oldmeadow, it’s common for us to attribute specific characteristics to fans of certain types of music. A few Chapman University students on campus shared what they were listening to and revealed their experiences of being stereotyped by their music choices.
Even with the risk of being stereotyped, a few Chapman University students on campus openly shared what they were listening to and discussed their own opinions on music and how the society labels them according to their preferences.
Some say, “I have very bad taste in music,” said Jack Freiberger, a freshman screenwriting major. “I listen to a lot of random stuff. It’s either very alternative music or 70’s disco,” he said.
Freshman film production major, Jack Belisle, also primarily listens to music from a different era. The 50’s reflects his music preference, so he’s been told by his friends that he should live in that decade.
Associating those who listen to music from the past with its respective decade is a simple way to stereotype music tastes. For others, they have been categorized by their background.
“Since I’m Peruvian, people might think I only listen to flute. I like it, but not so much. I listen to a lot of different music. I like 40’s music and nowadays I like indie-rock,” said double major film production and creative writing sophomore Salvador Varela Zolezzi.
Zolezzi has been stereotyped by what people think he should be listening to due to his cultural background instead of what he actually listens to.
Another common form of stereotyping is generalizing that people listen to only a certain number of genres.
“People are usually surprised I like hard rap because I also really like country, so that’s more assumed,” said junior strategic and corporate communication major Daniel Bernstein. “I’m from Cleveland and it’s from a Cleveland rapper, so it’s very homegrown,” he said of Machine Gun Kelly.
There also exists the stereotypes that come with genres of music. One of the most well-known stereotypes is pop music being “mainstream.”
Sophomore strategic and corporate communication major Gina Pasquienlli re-established this stereotype saying, “The stereotype of listening to pop music is that you’re just kind of mainstream and you don’t care as much about music.” Based on society’s stereotypes, she said her music choices are “just very mainstream.”
“The song just changed to ‘Here’ by Alessia Cara, so that would seem a little bit more, I don’t want to say mainstream, but you know what I mean, more pop music,” said Morgan Bates, a junior psychology major.
Another genre stereotype is that hip-hop and rap correlate with negative connotations.
Kyle Carter would have been a senior in kinesiology if he weren’t currently taking a break from school. Listening to “Multiply” by A$AP Rocky, Carter said the rapper correlates with “drugs and violence.”
About himself, Carter said people categorize him as a stoner because of the music he listens to. Apart from A$AP Rocky, he likes reggae which, according to him, gives off the vibe of “a lot of weed” and being “a hoodlum.” He laughed off the connotation.