Last year HelloBeautiful ran articles about untrue stereotypes of black men, as well as untrue stereotypes of black women. So what about misleading stereotypes of Americans generally? Do we really know what the rest of the world thinks about us? Talking to a friend from New Zealand recently who is just about to come to America on vacation for the first time, I was shocked by just how many preconceived notions he (and the rest of the world for that matter) has about the U.S of A.
Here are the top 10…
1. We all fit the ‘ugly American’ stereotype.
Come on now, that’s just like saying all Germans are incredibly efficient or all Australians wrestle crocodiles. Plain crazy!
2. The whole nation is celebrity obsessed.
The whole world is celebrity obsessed. If there wasn’t a market for Hollywood blockbusters and people, the world over, didn’t want to see celebrities living their life then the celebrity culture wouldn’t exist.
3. Everyone says ‘y’all’.
Of course we don’t. But come to think of it, why would it even matter if we did?
4. Everything we eat is deep-fried. And probably wrapped in bacon.
Movies like ‘Supersize Me’, and the global juggernaut that is McDonald’s probably helped perpetuate the stereotype that all Americans are incredibly unhealthy, but it is just that, only a stereotype. In fact New York’s policy of placing calorie counters on menu’s is a direct step to reduce the obesity rate by 30,000 in the next 3 years. Take that stereotype!
5. All Americans hate Canada.
Come on, we all know ragging on Canada is just harmless fun. We can’t help that they wish they were American now can we?
6. Everyone in Texas is a good old fashioned, gun-toting, cowboy.
Obviously what is shown on television and in movies is exaggerated for entertainment value. Although we do have it in the Bill of Rights that we can carry a gun if we wish, only approximately 45% of households do. And the Lone Star state has come a long way from Bandolero!
7. We are all fanatically patriotic.
With the seemingly constant threat of terrorism, and our troops being deployed in war zones, we need to stick together as a country to show our troops that we support them, as well as showing our ‘enemies’ that they can’t break us. FIX LANGUAGE
8. Nothing exists outside of USA.
With the statistics showing that 75% of American’s don’t have a passport, I suppose it’s easy to see why people assume American’s don’t care about the rest of the world. But not every American is ignorant of the rest of the world and we do actually like to be informed about world events. We can’t help that we are a global super power, who’s leaders are always being called upon for opinions and to help make decisions.
But there were two stereotypes that I was told, which I think kinda ring true…
1. Everything in the USA is XXL.
We do love our big cars, big houses, big food, and big events, and we do have big personalities, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t? I don’t think it’s a bad thing,
2. Americans love their tan pants.
This one I can’t deny. It’s true, we love tan pants (or at least the men do). When I was told this by my NZ friend, I scoffed. But then I started noticing men on the subway, in restaurants, walking the dog, at the museum. And surprise surprise, a lot of them were wearing tan pants. Why? I don’t know, but I think it may be a trend.
So what do you all think? Is there any validity in any of these stereotypes, or do you have more that you’ve heard?