Top 10 Stereotypes About Americans

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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(CBS Radio) — Throughout the world, people who reside in countries other than the United States have formed opinions about us Americans — some of which are misguided viewpoints and others which are somewhat accurate, to an extent. Have you ever wondered what the world thinks about Americans? Here are the top 10 stereotypes about us:

10. Americans are fat and lazy. In the United States, over 35 percent of adults are obese. People in other countries tend to believe that Americans are the fattest people in the entire world, and that they sit around eating bon-bons and fast food all day. However, a 2012 study conducted by the CIA indicates that while the United States is near the top of the charts in obesity rates, there are five other countries who have a higher percentage of obesity.

9. Americans are obsessed with celebrities. In the United States, celebrities are on just about every cover of every magazine, every tabloid, and are hired by big companies to advertise their products. There is a certain level of infatuation among Americans when it comes to celebrities. While some Americans may have unhealthy obsessions with their favorite pop star or actress, there are plenty of Americans who could care less about celebrity gossip, etc.

8. Americans are addicted to plastic surgery. In 2010, there were  9,336,814 plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. That’s a lot of plastic surgery! But the truth is, many individuals who have plastic surgery once, are likely to have other things on their body “fixed” as well. On the other hand, there are plenty of Americans who are just as original as the day they were born.

7. Americans are racist. While it’s true that racism is still an issue in American culture today, in part because it is deeply ingrained in United States history — our country as a whole is a very diverse nation, with pockets of racial tension here and there. But, there are plenty of Americans who do not see color and who do not see racism as a serious problem in the US.

(Related Article: Racism In America: White Americans Believe They Are Victims Of Reverse Racism)

6. Americans are uneducated. A few years ago, the European Journal of Communication surveyed people in the United States, Britain, Denmark, and Finland about international affairs. We’ll just say that Americans didn’t fare as well as Europeans when it came to world knowledge. However, I think that many Americans are more interested in what is going on in the United States versus around the world.

5. Americans are arrogant and selfish. People in other countries believe that most Americans are self-absorbed, selfish, cocky, and arrogant. In other words, completely full of themselves with the least bit of interest or compassion/understanding for anyone else. However, the reality is, Americans are the most generous people in the entire world. 

4. Americans are destroying the planet. The United States contributes to  25 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions — despite the fact that our nation accounts for just under 5 percent of the world’s population. While it’s true that Americans are an SUV loving nation, pollution in our country can largely be blamed on corrupt businesses, etc. Furthermore, many Americans are concerned with pollution and try to do their part to reduce our nation’s carbon dioxide emissions.

(Related Article: Top 10 Stereotypes About Women)

3. Americans are materialistic. It is believed throughout most of the world that Americans have to have the biggest and the best of everything, from the biggest gas guzzler to the most extravagant house. It is also believed that Americans walk around sporting name-brand everything, from Armani to Dolce and Gabbana, and everything in between. However, there are plenty of Americans who do not buy into the “need for more.”

2. Americans are violent. In 2012, the Washington Post reported that the United States has more shooting deaths than anywhere else in the developed world. Americans are proud of their right to bear arms, however, it has caused plenty of devastation and destruction on American soil. For the record, plenty of Americans do not own guns and want tougher gun control laws enforced in our nation.

1. Americans stick their noses where it doesn’t belong. People in other countries often view America as the “world’s police.” They often believe that our nation intervenes in world issues that have nothing to do with our own domestic affairs. Americans also have varying concerns about this issue. However, there is no denying that the world would be a different (and perhaps, a scary) place without the involvement of the world policing efforts of the United States.

-QC Writer, CBS Radio

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