Non-Americans Shared 18 Stereotypes About Americans That They No Longer Find To Be True
"My mom was shocked and horrified when she came to the US and found out that not everyone looked like the people in Baywatch."
Have you ever visited a country and learned the hard way that your stereotypes about its culture turned out to be untrue? Well, Reddit user u/thwipsX recently asked non-American people, "What American stereotype that wasn’t true shocked you the most?" Here are some of the best responses:
1. "Middle-class apartments aren't as big as what sitcoms tend to portray."
2. "Americans are so so nice and welcoming. Every trip was so much fun, and I was alone every time. Everyone I met was so easy to talk to; they seemed genuinely interested in me and my travels and offered their help and tips. I always mention my experience of how Americans will stop what they're doing to help me find directions."
"I literally had everyone on a tram (or bus?) in Dallas help me find the way on their phones because I couldn't myself. And then I got off and asked someone which way x street was, and they stopped everything to help me as much as they could. Everyone smiles. Americans are cute. I had so much fun. I hope I get to travel back soon. And I got to see real cowboys and cowgirls in Lubbock — best trip ever."
3. "My aunt was devastated when she learned that not all of Arizona looks like Monument Valley, and there are no ostrich-sized road runners that go, 'Meep meep.'"
4. "My female Japanese exchange student friends were all disappointed that American men normally don't look exactly like American TV drama stars."
5. "I don't know if it was so much as a stereotype or just my expectation, but I thought [there would] be a lot more people driving American muscle cars than there were."
6. "My wife's family came to visit us in the US for the first time, and they were noticeably disappointed by the lack of cowboys. They genuinely thought that my wife and I were like the academic exception, and that basically everyone else was a cowboy."
7. "My family from Switzerland came to visit the rest of us in Texas, and they were legitimately surprised we didn't ride horses to school or work. We don't even own a horse; we have a dog and no farm animals. They also bitched that it took 30–40 minutes to drive anywhere — not sure what they were expecting."
8. "I have a lot of family in France, and when my cousin came to visit she was surprised that yellow school buses were an actual common thing. She thought it was just in the movies."
9. "A local university sent some teachers from China to the US to teach Chinese to our kindergarteners (I know, right). Anyway, she was very disappointed to be in the Kentucky bluegrass and assumed the US was all like New York City. She wanted to know where the parties/clubs were and didn’t like cows near her apartment."
10. "I was genuinely surprised at how beautiful a lot of the country is. Most of the cities aren’t so nice and pretty much met my expectations, but there are some truly stunning natural landscapes in the parts of the US that I visited, which was mostly west of Texas and up to South Dakota."
11. "My mom was shocked and horrified when she came to the US and found out that not everyone looked like the people in Baywatch."
12. "College house parties. All the crazy and awesome stuff I saw in the movies and then facing the real house parties in a dirty basement full of smoke, drunk/vomiting people, and trash..."
13. "Had a roommate in college who was from Brazil. He seemed to think that snow, any snow, was a death storm that one could never venture into without dying. During the first light snow of the year, he said he wasn't able to go to class."
14. "I was expecting more guns in America — something like everybody carries a pistol to the mall, and there is a shotgun inside the sleeping room. To my surprise, neither my host family nor their neighbors had any guns. It was a working-class neighborhood near Tacoma."
15. "My family comes from the UK to visit us in Atlanta and are visibly surprised to find no theme parks or strips of bars and entertainment. Ended up taking them to Dollywood a few times. I think that’s a culture shock for most Americans, not just foreigners though."
16. "Foreign students thought that people in LA run into celebrities all the time."
17. "I guess what I've found shocking about some Americans is how much they appreciate the culture from my country. My prejudice based on a stereotype made me think that you'd be so proud of being an American you'd want to rub it in our faces, and you'd think the rest of the world sucks. But some Americans are absolutely nothing like that."
"Actually one of the questions Americans hear a lot from people from my country is 'Why did you choose to come here? You're from the States...' Like we would never imagine that someone from a first-world country would be able to appreciate it and even love it or feel part of it."