As much as we like to think other countries look up to us, there are a ton of stereotypes of Americans that other nations hold about us. When you are such a world power, it makes sense that not every country agrees with the way we handle ourselves as a nation. But regardless of the global perception of us, there is no way to define our entire nation in a few characteristics. As many stereotypes of Americans as there are, I would have to disagree that they describe the majority of Americans that I know.
1. We Are Promiscuous
One of the most annoying stereotypes of Americans that other countries hold about us. When I was in Israel, a variety of my new Israeli friends found it so strange that we had never done all these promiscuous acts and had had a limited number of partners. They assumed that all American girls were easy and willing to hook up with anyone. I have found in my travels that foreign men think it is strange when I tell them that women in American are not promiscuous or too outrageous with their sex lives. I am not sure how this stereotype started but it needs to stop soon.
2. We Are Ignorant
As much as I hate stereotypes, I can see where this one comes from. Turn on American news channels and it is filled with all national news about celebrities, while the BBC covers news from around the globe. We tend to focus only on things relevant to Americans and tend to tune out international news. That being said, foreigners apply this perspective to all Americans they meet. I know tons of Americans who love to learn all they can about new cultures and to apply one stereotype to all Americans is just wrong.
3. We Are Fat
Again, I can see where this stereotype started but that does not mean it applies to everyone. According to Forbes, American ranks #9 on “World’s Fattest Countries.” With large fast food chains such as McDonalds coming out of America, we do have a reputation of “bigger is better.” But America is not the only country to battle nationwide obesity and to classify that as something unique to the USA is completely inaccurate.
4. We Are Stupid
While the US has a great education system, other countries hold an idea of America is filled with stupid rednecks that are the epitome of idiots. I have no idea how this image came about because some of the world’s greatest minds are American. Incredible men like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates hail from the US and some of the most world-renowned colleges in the world are housed in America.
5. We Are Arrogant
Another common stereotype held about Americans is that we are arrogant and self-centered. Many other countries believe that we only care about the welfare of Americans and have little empathy for other nations and their people. When you take into account how much money and effort we spend on relief effort and other initiatives in other nations, it becomes clear that we are actually a very caring nation who wants the best for everyone.
6. We Are Materialistic
In our “bigger is better” world, we can seem materialistic when compared to some other countries. We love our huge cars, mansions, and over the top luxuries when other countries are content with the necessities. That being said, the image of the materialistic American is constantly portrayed in the media but not necessarily true of the everyday person. It is not fair to describe all Americans as materialistic when only a small percentage actually are fixated on their big toys.
7. We Think We Can Police the World
If you look at how many countries we have stationed troops in or interfered with, it is pretty understandable where this stereotype came from. But that is the actions of our government, not our entire nation. In fact, a good majority of Americans disagree with our foreign policy and want us to focus on internal and domestic matters. I would never judge an entire country on the actions of a few government officials, and I would hate others to do the same to the US.
8. We Are Violent
Many other countries view us as trigger-happy citizens who have dealt with many public acts of violence in the past few years. While we may not have such violence as countries like Syria and Sudan, we do have our fair share of violence in America. But that does not mean the actions of a few negate the peaceful nature of the majority of Americans. We have also enacted a laws recently to ensure that our right to bear arms does not mean a right to violence.
9. We Don’t Care about the Planet
There is no denying that Americans contribute to carbon emissions; with our cars, factories, and industrialized society, it can’t be avoided. But that does not mean we ignore the environmental needs of our planet. In the past few years, Americans have taken it upon them to be more involved in choosing green products, trying to reduce CO2 emissions, and making responsible choices when it comes to the environment.
Americans have a huge global presence, and with that, comes stereotypes about all Americans. To think that the way a few Americans behave is a representation of all Americans is not fair to the entire nation. Don’t get me wrong; Americans have done their fair share of stereotyping other nations. But I hope that once we realize how much those actions are reciprocated towards us, we will change our habit of stereotyping others. What did you think of these stereotypes of Americans that other nations hold? What are some other stereotypes that people think about Americans? Do you think any of these stereotypes are accurate?