Sure, I am exaggerating. It hasn’t “ruined” my life.
What it has done though is make ignorant people stereotype and generalise a whole county due to a dozen of young men and women who are in a reality TV show.
When I was a young girl, the stereotypical Essex woman would dance around the handbag wearing white stilettos. When I was a teenager, the stereotypical Essex woman was someone like Katie Price/Jordan & Jodie Marsh, don’t wear much clothes and their ‘woman bits’ were not real. Now, as a young lady, the stereotypical Essex woman is a all these things, but covered from head to toe in tan, false eyelashes and vajazzles.
Thanks to the likes of “so-called” celebrities from TOWIE, people like me from Essex are generalised and put in the same box as them. Everyone thinks that:
1. We are all thick.
2. We always look like we are going out for a party.
3. We get a Vajazzle.
4. We are obsessed with plastic surgery.
5. We are orange.
6. We sleep around.
I had a friend who had an interview with Cambridge, and got ridiculed all day by fellow interviees and even the lecturers about her accent. In her presentation she spoke about how she has been unfairly stereotyped just because she was from Essex, and not Eton-educated, but that she was just as clever as everyone else in the room; otherwise she would not have had this chance. She got offered a place but turned it down due to respect for herself, and not going to a place where she felt like she did not belong.
This really annoyed me when I first heard this through my friend on the phone. It made me angry. Thanks to this TV show, people all over the UK feel like they can make assumptions about Essex-ians. I have had the jokes, the abuse and even the right down rude thrown my way because of where I come from. If you actually know me, you would realise that I do not fit into the stereotype at all. I try and ignore it but sometimes I have to stick up for where I came from. I am proud of being from Essex and if you think that ALL or even MOST of us are like what you see on the TV then more fool you. I guess all I am really trying to say in this article is that you shouldn’t just assume these things about anyone. I get daily jokes about being from Essex and it grates me. Just because our little county has been shoved in the spotlight, it has became a bigger deal.
Some of the world’s talented or funniest or nicest people have came out of Essex and are doing just fine:
Dame Maggie Smith, Russell Brand, Nick Frost, Jane Leeves, Russell Tovey, Alan Davies, Joe Thomas, Hannah & Kara Tointon, Jeremy Sheffield, Ross Kemp, Jessie J, Depeche Mode (YES!), Alison Moyet & Dame Helen Mirren just to name a few. So please, stop with the hating and never, ever generalise.