Stereotypes about Americans

This post was inspired by Serpentus’ “Stereotypes about Russian Women”.

Disclaimer: No, I don’t hate Americans, and no, I don’t think they are “really” like this. But before you get angry, think of stereotypes you might have about people of different culture, race, religion, gender, etc. and realize how easy is to stereotype people when you don’t really bother to care about them as human beings.

Note: “Americans” in this context mean “citizens of USA”.

Americans are materialistic

All Americans can think about is money, and getting more money so they could buy, buy, buy! They judge everything by its economic value. Being rich and owning expensive things is the number one imperative for Americans. Being poor is seen as a moral failure. This is the most popular stereotype about Americans.

Americans are uneducated and ignorant

Americans are not interested in education. They don’t read books. They can’t name any famous painters. They think Beethoven is a cute St. Bernard dog. They can’t even find their own country on a map. The only reason some Americans go to college is to get high paying jobs so they could have more money to buy things.

Their lack of intellectual curiosity makes them ignorant about other cultures, places, or, basically, anything that has nothing to do with their own life or USA. They think people who have different customs are “weird” and assume everyone on the Internet is American.

Americans are fat obese

Americans eat fast food only, and get obese fast. But there are Americans who don’t want to be obese, so they get 23534 plastic surgeries to be thin.

Americans have no history or tradition

Except for Native Americans, who make 1% of population, Americans have no history. Their country was founded less than 250 years ago! Also, Americans have no real tradition, and no culture in any coherent sense of the word.

Americans have no moral values

Since they have no history or tradition, and their main value is money, it’s logical that their moral values are deeply skewed. They leave their kids with teenage babysitters, and can’t wait to get rid of them the moment they turn 18. You rarely see your parents once you grow up, let alone your extended family.

Americans are oversexed and loose, though they are scared of seeing naked people in films and they strongly prefer to watch people getting killed instead. They even let their kids watch this! That’s how Americans become violent (there are crimes everywhere and everybody owns a gun).

Americans want their country to be world’s policeman

Americans believe all the world needs their help, even if it means military intervention, and civilian casualties. Only when their soldiers begin to die in large numbers, Americans start protesting against military intervention.

Conclusion?

Some of these stereotypes are more popular than the others, and some are not about Americans only. For example, believing people in other groups don’t have “proper” values is pretty universal. Some of the listed stereotypes assume all Americans are rich and white, though many people believe that your class or race don’t make you immune to these things.

18 thoughts on “Stereotypes about Americans

  1. zek j evets

    Darnit Mira!

    How DARE you stereotype us god-fearing, freedom-making, racism-ending, hard-working, peace-loving, gun-loving, McDonald’s nation! I didn’t give 5 bucks to Bill Clinton just so the Serbs could join the Axis of Evil and hate on us poor, oppressed Americans who are of course the most awesome nation in the world — no, the universe!

    But seriously, you can’t stereotype Americans! That’s only something we’re allowed to do to ya’ll Red Commies =’(

    (Okay, ending my sarcasm now! Haha. Great post!)

  2. Serpentus

    I love this post! I always wondered how Americans were stereotyped by others. Usually, it’s Americans who do the stereotyping.

    “The only reason some Americans go to college is to get high paying jobs so they could have more money to buy things”

    Some of the things you say, make me want to believe that you have actually lived in the U.S. Great insight!

    (I wonder why my gravatar isn’t showing up?)

  3. Mira Post author

    Usually, it’s Americans who do the stereotyping.

    Ha! It’s what they think! Other people do as much stereotyping as Americans. The only difference is that they don’t have as powerful media to promote those stereotypes like Americans do.

    Some of the things you say, make me want to believe that you have actually lived in the U.S. Great insight!

    But… I was just being sarcastic. None of this was meant to sound “real”. Those are just stereotypes.

    (I wonder why my gravatar isn’t showing up?)

    I have no idea. Are you using the same login info?

  4. Nkosazana

    Wow, I found your blog Mira! And it’s a cozy one at that!

    On topic:

    Americans are uneducated and ignorant

    Well I don’t know about uneducated, but they could stand to come out of their bubble once in a while. Stop confusing Switzerland with Sweden. I’m not even Swedish and I get annoyed by that lol.

    I guess it’s the smugness that annoys people about Americans the most.

    And the American tourist lol. Do you get those in Serbia?

    Thank god they haven’t invaded my township as they have done in Soweto with those degrading township tours.

    But to be fair it’s not only Americans that takes them, but many are according to one of my friend who works on one :)

  5. Anna Scott Graham

    Uh, unfortunately most of those are more true than not. :) Those years I lived in the UK left me gaping upon my return to native soil. And there is no decent TEA served in America!!! (Ha ha ha…)

  6. Mira

    Nkosazana,

    Welcome and thanks for commenting!

    Stop confusing Switzerland with Sweden. I’m not even Swedish and I get annoyed by that lol.

    They do seem to confuse one country with another if they “sound similar” to them, or if they are located in the similar part of the world.

    But God forbid somebody confuses them for Canadians! ;)

    And the American tourist lol. Do you get those in Serbia?

    No, not as much. My country is not very popular with tourists, so we are extremely happy when somebody decides to visit us. We’re so happy… to the point of embarrassment. So any American would be more than welcomed here…. Until (s)he starts defending NATO bombing or tries to explain our history to us, that is.

  7. Mira

    Anna Scott Graham,

    Well, I don’t know if they are “true” true… Stereotypes are built on cultural miscommunication and they appear true… But I am not sure if they are “really” true. I mean, I know many Americans who are not overweight, or even particularly materialistic.

    Dr. Vagrant X,

    I refuse to believe it’s the truth!

  8. Natasha W

    Lol, I will not answer this post with the first thoughts that came into my mind. People already think I’m anti-American, anti-black, anti-liberal, anti-____. (even though I could be considered all of these things, so I must be suffering from a curious case of self-hate). So I’ll just answer mildly. :)

    “Americans are materialistic”

    Yes.

    “Americans are uneducated and ignorant”

    Most are, about things that don’t concern them personally. If it concerns them personally, they know all about it.

    “Americans are not interested in education.”

    False. Of course they are: an education in the U.S. means a better-paying job which means more money to buy things. ;)

    “They can’t even find their own country on a map.”

    False. They can. They just can’t find many other countries. Or even some U.S. states outside of their own.

    “The only reason some Americans go to college is to get high paying jobs so they could have more money to buy things.”

    LMAO. I wrote that Americans only care about education for jobs so they can buy things… before reading this. Great minds, Mira!

    ‘Their lack of intellectual curiosity makes them ignorant about other cultures, places, or, basically, anything that has nothing to do with their own life or USA.’

    Very true.

    Everything else is close to true except the part about having no history, culture, or tradition, and only eating fast food.

  9. Natasha W

    Nkosazana says:

    “Stop confusing Switzerland with Sweden.”

    Mira says:

    “They do seem to confuse one country with another if they “sound similar” to them, or if they are located in the similar part of the world.”

    What? Switzerland and Sweden aren’t the same?!

    Well, they are Basically The Same. Like most Asian countries and basically every country in “black Africa”.

    ;)

  10. Mariana

    To me… this is basically true. LOL

    Stop confusing Switzerland with Sweden. I’m not even Swedish and I get annoyed by that lol.

    Please guys, Brazil’s capital city is Brasília, not Rio and definetely not Buenos Aires!!!!!!

    Well… I’m a Historian and from the two years I spent studying America’s history (In Brazil, America means the whole continent)I spent a semester studying the US. They have a LOT of history, their history is quite rich but america’s historiography is basically about the civil war and Vietnan, the big “wounds”, as I call them. And I think that these are the only periods of US’s history that the average american is aware of.

    As for the lack geography sense, I don’t think that’s exclusive of americans. I have talked to some European people and when I said that I lived in the central part of Brazil, they asked if I lived near the Amazon. But Europeans don’t have the sense of distance we have, Brazil is bigger than whole Europe (apart from Russia).

    Most people in Brazil have a good geography notion, the problem about our education is that the public schools are shitty. (Except for the Universities), but our curriculum covers so many subjects, I can almost say that we study everything.

  11. Mira

    Bulanik,

    Thanks for the link! (And yes, it’s working)

    Not sure what to make out of the story (I didn’t check other sources), but the comments alone are gold.

    The comments show why a black Statue wouldn’t be accepted even today.

  12. James

    I am an American, and yes most of this is true, but some things are not. We understand other cultures, you are the one who may not understand ours, and I know these are just stereotypes, but there are many of us who are highly intelligent, and yes we can name artist, and yes Beethoven is a movie about a dog, but we aren’t that stupid, I know who Beethoven is.
    Yes, I am just a kid, but I have been to different other countries, and they a aren’t excepting of American, don’t be prejudice… Keep in mind these are your ancestors as well as mine.

  13. Mira Post author

    James,

    They are stereotypes, not facts. This is, however, the way that’s US seen by the outsiders, for whatever reason.

    Various countries have different degrees when it comes to accepting/welcoming Americans. Some cultures are more welcoming to Americans than the others. This is how it goes.

    Keep in mind these are your ancestors as well as mine.

    I have no idea what you mean here.

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