As with any group of people, stereotypes are bound to be known and often used in conversations for humour or argument. I have not been living here for a very long time but have found some preconceived ideas that I had have either been proven or dispelled as I go about meeting new people here.
All Americans are …
loud … | Some people I have encountered do indeed speak louder than my eardrums appreciated, but on the whole, people speak in a normal volume. I have been known to talk with very loud excitement when I find something of interest to my expat sensibilities.
generous … | I think this is very true, as I have encountered some extraordinary generosity in the recent past. Despite being a truly enormous country (my little island home could fit inside Texas nearly 3 times over), I get the sense that there is a strong connection running through Americans that you look to help someone out if you can.
fat … | Without a doubt, there is obesity in the US, with around two thirds of the adult population being overweight or obese (my British bulk can now be included in that statistic). Food is available everywhere, it is reasonably priced and comes in large portion sizes – this will all contribute, but I do feel that this particular stereotype can no longer be seen as just American as Britain is catching up.
friendly … | People that I have met have all been very personable, polite and kind. Whether you are crossing paths in a petrol station, restaurant or on a general walk about somewhere, you are always greeted respectfully and spoken to in a friendly manner.
gun-toting … | This is a subject that many are very passionate about (both for and against any changes to current gun laws), but I am not here to discuss the ins and outs of it politically. With regards to the stereotype that all Americans love, and have guns, it seems to me that a lot of people do, and a lot of people do not.
cool … | I could be biased, but I will admit that I agree with this one. Everything sounds cooler with an American accent – you could be reading the phone book, and it would sound exotic, exciting and oh-so fashionable.
What are your thoughts on stereotypes (American or otherwise)? Have you found some to be true, or very far from accurate?