Before we become acquainted with an individual, we often stereotype his or her personality and falsely conceive a persona that in reality does not exist.  This happens as a result of assuming, something that I’ve fallen victim to on many occasions. For instance, Scottsdale, Arizona, where I’ve now lived for a good portion of my life—thirteen years to be exact, has long been the target habitation of beautiful rich snobs.  Thirteen years of living in a bleached-blonde, tanned, plastic surgery-infested, wannabe California, where men and women throw money at salespeople for the latest car or pair of Jimmy Choos as if money is bread being fed to birds.  Thirteen years having friends ask if I live in a mansion and if my dad makes millions of dollars just because he’s a cardiologist.  And it’s felt like even more years of friends assuming I received a new Porsche upon my sixteenth birthday, had a fancy hotel party bursting with guests and posh gift bags for my Bat Mitzvah (because of course, that’s what rich Jews from Scottsdale do), and attended the most expensive private schools with all the latest technology just because I could.  Let’s just say it’s been thirteen long years of assuming.

Mentioning that I’m from Scottsdale to a new acquaintance causes first impressions about me to instantly change. Immediately I become “that rich girl from Snobsdale” and take on a whole new persona: a girl with a personality as fake as her boobs.  Once people get to know me though, they cannot believe I live in a city where Juicy Couture clothing is as important as breathing.  In fact, they tell me, seemingly shocked, “You’re not snobbish at all!”   For one, neither of my parents came from much money; what we have now was earned through determination and achievement.  They instilled in me a sense of equality for all, so I never display an inflated sense of self.  I never had a large party worthy of an MTV reality show. For my Bat Mitzvah I went to Israel, which is something I find less crass and more meaningful than a vain party.  I also did not received a new car when I turned sixteen. In fact, I didn’t receive a car until I was seventeen, and only out of necessity, allowing my mom to care for my autistic younger brother.  Not only that, but I attended a not-so-glamorous public high school in Phoenix that had more gang fights than any functional computers.  All in all, every assumption about me has been false.  We can truly note what assuming does: it makes an ass out of you and me.

I agree whole-heartedly about the Scottsdale stereotypes.  Many people are rich, live in nice houses, send their kids to the best schools, and buy them expensive cars that no teen should ever drive unless what is desired is a totaled vehicle. There are some middle-aged women who dress like eighteen-year-olds, implementing surgeries to create a body to match and also thirty-something men, continuing to party under the illusion they have the stamina of a college student.  But just because an individual lives in Scottsdale does not mean he or she is a snob and acts in such a manner.  There are plenty of individuals living in Scottsdale who would be happy working for minimum wage as long as they’re with family living life to the fullest potential.  Money can make someone egocentric and obsessed with personal gain; however, it is the experiences each person has, whether he or she has “money to blow” or not, that dictates how life will be lived.  Yes, it is true Scottsdale is a rich area of Arizona, but that doesn’t say anything about the individuals who live there.  It’s time we get to know the man behind the Oakley sunglasses instead of turning the other cheek with our assumptions.