LETTER- Lighten up, folks

Give it a rest, Charlottesville!

Recently, the Hook wrote a brief story regarding the circulation of "Charlottesville Barbies" [ "Duped: Virginia's Barbies not so special," February 1].  

The article featured yet another offended Charlottesvillian. It's almost impossible to read a piece of journalism or listen to the news around here without hearing about someone being offended– whether it's to serve some political or monetary gain, boredom, or just for the sake of opportunity.  This nice blue bubble we live in is sterilized against any opinion (especially in the majority) or any instance of humor that might rile our wafer-thin feelings. 

The Barbies' e-mail was an attempt to apply general trends of cities to a popular cultural icon. That's it. I sincerely doubt the writers and circulators of these e-mails intended to make a statement of hate. This joke was intended to make people laugh and identify. 

An inherent truth remains: self-perpetuating stereotypes are everywhere. I see these "Barbies" daily– and maybe the reason Charlottesville gets up in arms about their existence lies in their sheer accuracy. We don't want to admit that we can be stereotyped, and this town certainly cannot laugh at itself and its oddities. 

Charlottesville: relax, laugh, breathe.

Erika VanHousen
Charlottesville
vanhousen@gmail.com

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