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Guy123123's avatar

Do most Europeans think of Americans of fat, rich, idiots?

Asked by Guy123123 (302points) May 10th, 2010

My british math teacher says that they do, do you think this is true. I am planning to move to London in the future but do not want to if no one would take me serious

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34 Answers

essieness's avatar

I’m an American and I agree with his statement.

jaytkay's avatar

They won’t mind if you’re rich, but are you a fat idiot?

janbb's avatar

They are more likely to not take you seriously if you have trouble speaking and writing correctly than simply if you are known as an American.

Trillian's avatar

I think the whole world sees us that way and who could blame them? All they have to do is watch an hour of reality tv. Or a few commercials. Or listen to a few talking amongst themselves.
During an overseas indoctrination we were told to behave because we were representative of America. At least 60% spoke openly of how they intended to behave. Many were officers and their wives. I was appalled. We’re reaping what we’ve sown.
Just don’t act like the stereotype. Be courteous, don’t get loud with people. Don’t holler about “I’m an American dammit, I know my rights!” You make friends based on your own merit.

DominicX's avatar

Then they would be ignorant judgmental morons. :\

And take a look at Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, Netherlands, etc. All European, all super wealthy countries. America is not the only wealthy country in the world.

As for obesity, I don’t see what that has to do with taking someone seriously. If you don’t look obese, no one’s going to assume you are.

tranquilsea's avatar

I have met many Americans who are thoughtful, caring and intelligent. But the ones who are loud, judgmental and egotistical are the ones that stand out. When my hubby and I were on a cruise about 5 years ago we had a couple from New York at our table. She was a lawyer and that first night we met them she kept shouting across the table that we must hate them (because we’re Canadian). I kept saying, “No we don’t. We don’t even know you.” And she kept on. I finally just fell silent. The others at our table were very nice and courteous.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

What does it matter, really, what “most people” think of you or your country of origin and compatriots?

Most people here probably think that I’m a loud-mouthed, somewhat abrasive, set-in-my-ways smart-assed old fart with strong opinions about things he knows nothing about and damned if they’re not right. But so what? I’m here anyway. I’m mostly enjoying myself. If you think you’d like London, then you just might, regardless of what “most people” think.

And here’s a question to ask yourself: Is your math teacher so brilliant that he was recruited by your ignorant American school board? Or did he just get sick of… all those Europeans he was living amongst?

PS: I am overweight, but not as bad as those other fat-assed Americans you know.

ETpro's avatar

Do most Europeans think of Americans of fat, rich, idiots?

No, but they think their grammar is as poor as the question above might suggest. :-)

Guy123123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp My math teacher is not mean or anything, i asked him this question and he answered yes jokingly, but he meant it. Am i right when i say that London is like New york but with more moderate weather?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not just Europeans but most people from other countries I’ve talked to have expressed their opinion of Americans as fat, poser-rich idiots who jeopardize their families and selves in order to appear rich, educated and “successful”. I agree since I’ve know too many people with the attitude of arrogant entitlement that education should buy them values, social acceptance, success and the right to treat others shabbily all the while justifying a life on credit.

KatawaGrey's avatar

When I was in London, a lot of the people I met there said all sorts of awful things about Americans but, somehow, I was the exception to every single one. I’m sure you will be as well.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Guy123123 it doesn’t really matter, does it? A lot of Europeans used to think of the US as a place where everyone drove a big car or a pickup truck, carried a gun, and couldn’t even find Europe on a map. (Let’s not get into how depressingly often that is all true.)

Go to Europe and show the people who meet you what we can be like. And don’t try to change anyone’s mind. Anyone who already has his mind made up won’t be convinced in any case.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

My perception of Americans, as an Australian, is that they are generally good people but have the potential to be loud and highly strung. I don’t think they are necessarily rich, since the US has a poor welfare system, and only some are idiots. Americans have a unique sense of humour though, and don’t understand ours, so its fun to make them the but of all jokes simply because they won’t understand. For example.

Blackberry's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Oh my god…..I’m now even more embarrased lol…

Fernspider's avatar

I am from New Zealand but grew up for many years in the USA (father is American too) so I can see the perspective from an interesting angle.

I would have to agree with @FireMadeFlesh. Really nice people but can come off all wrong with the accent and loudness (generally). Do often seem highly strung or will easily react to “being given a bit of sh*t” as the Kiwis and Aussies (Brits too) tend to do in a somewhat affectionate way towards each other. I have found Americans to become defensive or appear offended by this. Unfortunately this can be interreperated by people from other countries as tightly wound with no sense of humour (which is unfair).

SeventhSense's avatar

That’s Texas. It’s a whole other country. Of course you could do the exact same thing in any culture with the right people. The majority of people throughout the world are woefully ignorant. Oh and hey can you guys take back this guy

Fred931's avatar

In terms of the automotive realm, yes. Otherwise, we’d be getting more cars that made sense, like this one that gets 65MPG, and the reasons Ford isn’t going to give it to us are because we think diesels are still loud and dirty and we think we need these.

YARNLADY's avatar

My oldest son moved to Europe (London and Stockholm) and he said the people were very friendly, helpful, and intrigued by him as an American (from California).

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m a New Yorker so I don’t have to leave home to see Europe.
Actually that entire comedy genre was created by Americans. Candid Camera did that decades ago.

Trillian's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Very disheartening, but it only confirms what I’ve been saying all along about the level of education in America. What a sad indictment. Take back Mel, by all means, but I’d really like to keep this guy.
Breathe girl, breathe.

SeventhSense's avatar

looks like he’s about to sneeze

roundsquare's avatar

Not in my experience, but then again, I sigh when I see Americans acting in the “typical” (i.e. stereotypical) way by being loud, rude and disrespecting (or not even attempting to understand) other cultures.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@SeventhSense That’s okay, you can keep Mel. Really, I don’t mind. You’ve stolen all our good actors and actresses (Simon Baker, Andy Whitfield, Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts etc.), so you can take the good with the bad.

@Trillian I never have understood the American education system. I’ll have to get someone to explain it to me one day.

I should add that of all the Americans I have met, only one was an obnoxious jerk. The rest were genuinely good people. My cousin loves living over there. No one appreciates Australia like an American tourist! It doesn’t help when Kim Kardashian (who I hadn’t heard of till she visited Australia) says on national TV she expected to see kangaroos hopping down the city streets.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Not rich, but otherwise…

MissAnthrope's avatar

Americans have a reputation for being loud and obnoxious, but with cause. When I’m over there, I’m sometimes embarrassed by the behavior of my fellow countrypeople. They do have a reputation for being fat and kind of ignorant, as well, but that one is more of a generalization.

I’ve been going to Italy for over 13 years and I have witnessed my share of bad behavior perpetrated by Americans. Pretty much any time there’s a disorderly drunk, people being drunk and loud well into the early hours of the morning, something gets vandalized or stolen, there’s an American involved. Many Americans enter other countries with an egotistical sense of entitlement that is offensive to the natives. After all, technically we are guests in their country. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how many people travel to a foreign country that don’t even bother to learn a few words of the language, and then the kicker is when they can’t communicate with a shopkeeper or something, they get all pissed like the native is at fault for not speaking English.

Over the years, I’ve just figured that all I can do is be an ambassador to my country.. and frankly, America, you should be glad for it because there are loads more travelers who thoughtlessly trash any good image folks may have of us. So I try to use their language when I can and to be kind, easy-going, respectful, tolerant, and accepting of their culture and any difference between theirs and mine.

tranquilsea's avatar

Rick Mercer did/does a piece called, Talking To Americans BUT what everyone needs to remember is just how heavily edited theses pieces are. Plus Rick Mercer uses nothing but extremely leading questions where you can tell that the people he is talking to are assuming that he is the expert on Canada and, therefore, must be telling the truth.

To be honest, if I was out and about in my community and someone came up to me with a microphone I don’t know how on the ball I would be. Hopefully, more than many of these people are, but I just don’t know. And I consider myself fairly well read about world history.

Canada has the benefit, in this case, of getting a lot of information about the U.S. as we are inundated with U.S. cable networks. Plus we don’t have the noise that must come from living in a very populous nation that just so happens to be super power (for the time being).

A good friend of mine is an expat who was born and raised in Mississippi. She has a lovely accent, but more importantly she is a very thoughtful person and extremely intelligent.

I feel very sorry for all the Americans who experience intolerance based on stereotypes and/or the bad behaviour of their compatriots. It would be nice if everyone took each person based on their own merit.

perspicacious's avatar

No. They do, however, see us as having a deserving attitude.

SeventhSense's avatar

Hell, Kim can say anything she wants. At least for 20 minutes. ;)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@SeventhSense Certainly, but I reserve the right to laugh at her! She’s not exactly famous for her brains now, is she?

SeventhSense's avatar

Exactly, and that’s why I would just feign fascination nodding, tilting my head and smiling frequently.:)
“Kim you are just so smart…no one ever gives you credit for your mind..yes just lay down and rest that big booty I mean brain”..

mattbrowne's avatar

Are most Europeans ignorant and prone to stereotypes and hasty generalizations? I don’t think so.

And how could Bruce Willis have saved us all from Armageddon if he were a fat idiot?

Seriously, I think your British math teacher is an idiot if he really means it.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well we all know from the movies that Americans are brave, the British are stodgy, Australians are a little wild, Germans are rigid, Scots are ruffians, the French are effeminate and the Spanish are dramatic. It’s in the Hollywood playbook~

CyanoticWasp's avatar

And ze Italians, well… zey are [waves hands and arms and gesticulates wildly]… zo, eh?

SeventhSense's avatar

Oh yes and the Italians are all mobsters, Japanese are crafty, Chinese are victims, Arabs are all plotting covert activities in tents and the Scandinavians are blond airheads. ~

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