We have images that we have created and that we seek to be created in. For example, there is the celebrity or more specifically, the movie star. In order to be considered one, there is not only a gift or talent that must be valued by others. But once “discovered,” there is an image that she or he must adhere to. There is a way to dress, to pose for cameras and to give an interview. There are certain places that celebrities go and don’t go because they have an image to maintain.
The same can be said of race. It is an image that we have created and with it, come rules much like that of the movie star. If you are going to call yourself black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige, then you must avoid these people and not date those people. Black people dress like this. White people sound like that. Red people eat this. Yellow people believe that. Brown people do this type of work. Beige people live here. However, if you do not adhere to these rules, which are more so social expectations, then you could be considered not black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige or not black/ white/ red/ yellow/ brown/ beige enough. This lack of obedience could cause one to be shunned from the group or made to feel out of place. In this instance, it is not acceptable to be different.
Breaking the rules of race jeopardizes the stereotypes that have been put in place, which serve as a kind of description for each image. It also distorts the images which include mammy, buck, pickaninny and Uncle Tom, which, in turn, change and/or challenge the prejudices that we must hold if we are to be a member of these socially colored groups. As is often said, “Image is everything.” So, whose or what image have you been created in?