Confession time: I’m not American. I have, however, traveled to many places in the United States, and I am still only a fraction of the way through my bucket list. If you’ve ever traveled abroad or met any foreigners, you have probably experienced prejudice against Americans. While you may not care what foreigners think of you, it drives me crazy when people bring up this topic. Here are eight myths I want to call “bullshit” on.
1. The Food Is Shit
This is ridiculous. If you don’t like the first thing you try, go somewhere else. The population and ethnic diversity alone is enough to satisfy even the snobbiest of pallets. I doubt there is a single cuisine that isn’t available somewhere in the US. Maybe do some research before eating out, and don’t just dine in your hotel’s restaurant.
2. The Beer Is Weak
This is a partial truth, as many draught beers often have a lower alcohol content than most other countries. However, there are PLENTY of microbreweries that will provide you with a cold one that will satisfy all you beer lovers out there.
3. The People Are Rude And Annoying
Often, a lot of people’s only experiences with Americans is through traveling. Or on TV. But being obnoxious overseas in not limited to Americans. I’ve unfortunately witnessed much worse behavior from my own countrymen when traveling.
When I first traveled to the US, I was shocked as to how nice everyone was. If you looked two ways on the street, someone would ask you if you needed directions. If you were lost, they would make sure you’d find your way. They’d ask you about what you were doing in the US and they were genuinely happy to spend time talking to you. It’s the complete opposite of the United Kingdom where it is “un-British” to be happy. Instead, everyone just wallows in their own misery.
4. Americans Hate You If You Disagree With Them
I enjoy cheeky banter about politics, religion, gun control, health care, maternity leave, and general world domination with Americans. The majority of Americans don’t take themselves too seriously. Sure, I wouldn’t discuss this with with strangers, but it would be pretty rude to start debating policies with a random in any country.
5. Everyone Owns A Gun
This is just a rumor, like when you hear about Australian kids riding kangaroos to school. You’re not going to come across random people with guns in public very often, if at all. If guns offend you, spend a day at a shooting range or gun club to get a feel for them. You’ll see pretty quickly that shooting stuff is fun!
6. The People Are Stupid
The funny thing about this is that the people who believe it are just as ignorant as the people they’re making fun of. Ignorance is not the same thing as stupidity, and it is in no way isolated to the US alone. Have you ever done a search of the top universities in the world? Where do you think a large percentage of them lie?
Part of the problem is that Americans are often documented being ignorant, and millions of people watch these reality shows and moronic interviews around the world. While it’s hilarious, the same thing could be done in any country with similar results.
7. Everyone Is Obese
The first place I ever visited in the US was California. I wanted them to all be fat, because I’d been working out and starving myself in preparation for the trip. Unfortunately for me, Californians are not obese. They are thin, beautiful, and look fantastic. Even after further US travel, I haven’t see any more obesity than a lot of other places I’ve visited around the world. Just don’t spend your holidays in McDonald’s and you’ll manage to avoid packing on the pounds.
8. Families Wear Matching Clothes
I saw this once at Disneyland. It was the best day of my life. There was a whole family in matching Hawaiian shirts and Hawaiian print dresses. I actually wish this did happen more often, but I suspect it’s reserved for awkward family photos and tacky sweater holiday parties.