Many countries around the world look to America as a beacon of hope, fortune, and opportunity. Yes, America is considered the most powerful country in the world, but it’s also plagued by a few unfair stereotypes. It’s a country with diverse people and lifestyles. Before putting all Americans into one category, let’s take a look at some of the myths about America that people still believe.
ALL AMERICANS ARE FAT
True, a large portion of Americans are overweight with the latest reports showing that 38 percent of US adults are obese, while another third of Americans are considered overweight. Those are pretty heavy (no pun intended) numbers. Despite that, it’s unfair to say that all Americans are fat. In fact, Americans are quite aware of their health issues and there’s been more focus on eating well, exercising, education, and portion control.
ANYONE CAN MAKE IT IN AMERICA
There’s that saying “America is the land of opportunity” that has misled people into thinking that fortune finds you easily. Since America is a democratic country, that expression rings kind of true, but it’s not a place that promises quick success and big money like people in other countries might think. The truth is that you have to work hard, success isn’t always guaranteed, and living within your means is just as real as it is anywhere else.
AMERICANS ARE SELF-ABSORBED
While Kim Kardashian is the queen of selfies and is quite self-absorbed, she doesn’t represent the average American. There’s a misconception that Americans are all just me, me, me, when in truth there are plenty of caring, selfless, and giving people. In fact, in 2015 alone Americans donated over $373 billion to charity.
EVERYONE IS A FLAG WAVER
There’s an image the world has of Americans as frenzied, patriotic flag wavers. Depending on their political beliefs and background, though, many people don’t identify with the flag and what it represents. Or they just don’t want the stars and stripes all over their home and clothes. There’s nothing wrong with a little patriotism, and there are people all over the world who stand behind their nation’s flag as a symbol of their devotion, not just in the US.
EVERYONE DRIVES FAST
Okay, you can’t really blame people in other countries for believing this stereotype when Hollywood movies and TV shows perpetuate it. Not everyone in the US drives fast, but it’s a hard stereotype to shake when images of sports cars, NASCAR, and street racing are glamorized in the media.
AMERICANS EAT TOO MUCH PIZZA
First off, pizza is awesome, right? While pizza wasn’t invented in the US, Americans definitely made it their own with all the different types of crusts and toppings you can get. A recent government study even showed that 13 percent of Americans eat pizza on any given day. But it’s not just pizza they love, it’s also burgers, hot dogs, tacos, chow mein, sushi—basically any kind of food.
FRIENDS IS BASED ON REAL LIFE
I don’t know what I’d do if I had a friend like Joey, IRL. Go crazy, maybe? The TV show Friends is about a group of beautiful people who don’t work a lot, live in huge apartments, and hang out together all day. The lives of these fictional characters have mass appeal but they’re not based on real life or even the real cost of living of the city of New York. It’s a funny show, but the only thing that’s remotely like real life on it is Central Perks’ couch.
THERE’S A DRIVE-THRU FOR THAT
So far, we’ve discovered that Americans are seen as overweight car-loving people. On top of that there’s a belief that Americans are also too lazy to get out of their cars, and have drive-thrus practically everywhere including banks, restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores, and coffee shops. This simply isn’t true, as many towns don’t even have drive-thrus, not everyone drives, and people still like to get out and walk.
There are many countries around the world who can look at their court system and call it corrupt. In America it’s true, as well, unfortunately. Racism, economic inequality, sexism, and plain ol’ political corruption has seen many bad people walk away free, and many good people be punished. America isn’t perfect, and now people are starting to stand up and speak for a fairer justice system.
AMERICANS CAN’T GET ENOUGH PEANUT BUTTER
America is home to the PB & J sandwich, and there does seem to be a lot of peanut butter-flavored foods in America. However, this belief isn’t true, as there are a lot of Americans who are deadly allergic to nuts and peanuts. Peanut butter is actually banned in a lot of schools.