America vs. Australia

Lately I’ve been reading a lot on blogs and in forums about how Australians have a negative outlook on Americans and the American culture. It’s really starting to annoy me really. After watching a video on Laura’s blog, I felt compelled to refute some of the aussie negative stereotypes of Americans.

Americans are all obese

Well, yes, while many are- I’d like to remind everyone of THIS ARTICLE that shows that Australia has taken over as the fattest country in the world. At least Americans can blame it on free refills and the large portion size. Here you have to pay $4.00 for a coke and people still manage to become obese!

Americans are a bunch of “ditzy cheerleaders”

Well this one hits home. I was a cheerleader, but I graduated from my University with a 3.74 grade point average and graduated with my masters with a perfect grade point average of 4.0. Oh… and its not like Australia doesn’t have cheerleaders… they do… and they dress just as skimpy as the US ones!

Americans are arrogant

Yes, some are, but I can’t even tell you the number of Aussies who have said to me “Australia is the BEST country in the world… why would anyone want to live anywhere else?” Yeah… because that doesn’t sound arrogant AT ALL!

Americans think the world revolves around them

Well I won’t disagree with this one, but you have to admit- this whole US credit crisis has drastically impacted the WHOLE world, has it not?

Americans are rude

There are rude people everywhere. At least when I would go on walks in California people would smile or say hi as you walk by. In this area, people don’t even look at you as you pass them. I make Andrew call customer service for me because I figure they will be nicer to him with his Aussie accent. And I can’t help but think every time I ask for something in a restaurant or grocery store that the person helping me is thinking “dumb american.”
I’m not trying to be all bitchy with this post, but honestly- I’m so over hearing people bash Americans and the American culture. Every country on earth will have good people and qualities and bad people and qualities. For a country that is supposed to be SO nice and SO friendly, I’ve never in my life felt so much discrimination as I have since I moved to Sydney.

16 Responses to America vs. Australia

  1. Florida Girl In Sydney October 2, 2008 at 4:37 am #

    Omigod– I hope I didn’t ruin your day with my post!!!
    But I totally agree with you, seriously anytime I need any type of customer service, I feel they’re just thinking “obnoxious American”– it’s the vibe I get for sure. Too bad I don’t have an Australian around to make those calls for me– haha.

  2. Daisy October 2, 2008 at 4:46 am #

    Amen. 😉

    No but seriously. Amen.

    And I think I need to tell you that I pretty much LUV this post. 🙂 And I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way or who misses home!!!

  3. Kristen October 2, 2008 at 5:31 am #

    This is really interesting! When I lived in Germany (between 1981 an 1994), I – as an American, even – had a poor view of Americans (unless they’d been properly European-ized, as I believed I had). They were sloppy, loud, and gluttonous.

    It’s easy – so easy – to form those quick and bigoted opinions, and it was only recently that I learned judging your own countryfolk with such haste and prejudice is really no different from judging those from other countries. It’s like a skewed version of xenophobia. Is there a word for it?

    Anyway – thanks for writing this.

    KT

  4. pilots wife October 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    there just jealous. that’s what my mom would say!

  5. Valerie from YDU October 3, 2008 at 4:07 pm #

    Elsja, I completely agree with what you said and I also get annoyed with the stereotyping of Americans especially the “stupid” American stereotype. Some Americans do actually try to learn about the world, but of course some just weren’t educated well enough or hated learning. Thanks for the post.

  6. kathy October 4, 2008 at 2:51 am #

    I don’t hate ya luv ! I sent you an email and read half your blog pages…and I’m a 4th generation Aussie.

  7. elsja October 5, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    Thanks Kathy!! 🙂 I just saw your email (it was in my junk folder) so I’m going to reply a bit later today! 🙂

  8. elsja October 5, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    Thanks to everyone for your comments 🙂 I “moderated” somet of the touchy comments, so sorry if anything got deleted. I think my post pissed off a few aussies that I know, but it’s ok- I was pissed in the first place so now we’re even 🙂

  9. Michelle October 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve lived in Australia for over 10 years now (American, married to an Aussie) and it was so cathartic to read. Good to hear that I’m not the only one who gets frustrated with this. Aussies really pride themselves on being good natured and giving everyone a “fair go”, but they don’t always give everyone a fair go. It can be tough being a yank in Oz.

  10. Nicky October 6, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    hey i am hearing you. i feel somewhat stuck in the middle sometimes. i am proud that I was born in boston and had my childhood there. i still miss it 13 years later!! esp as i have the baseball on in the background and it makes me want to be over there now! haha.. and i continually defend america to my fiance!! i know he gets perceptions from the media..but he is slowly learning i think!
    I always think australia wouldnt have half the stuff they have if america wasnt around…
    yeah australians are arrogant too. i mean some of the comments they make are arrogant..and i also think its ignorant of them to stick 300 million americans in one pigeon hole!
    but i also dont like how australian get portrayed as dumb redneck in movies. but i havent seen that much lately! so thats what i mean by feeling stuck in the middle…cause I defend america here, and then sometimes i have had to defend australia when ive gone back to the us…”do you ride kangaroos to school?” ..
    anyways this post is all jumbled and rambled so ill stop 🙂

  11. Alex October 16, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    You are correct in what you observe. But I have a question for you… why do Americans fawn over Australians, given that we don’t even appear to like Americans? Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh… Australians now like Americans in the same sense that one might like a drooling puppy… “cute”, but you certainly wouldn’t want to call your puppy your equal or your best friend. But back before Australia became fashionable and fawned over, Australians consistently despised Americans. So what is it that Americans don’t get? I for one have a problem with a cultural self-esteem that depends on putting other cultures down, but if Americans don’t, I guess that’s their problem.

  12. elsja October 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    Americans don’t realize Australians don’t like us until we actually move to this country or visit for extended periods of time. People back home tell me “Australians are SOOO nice” and my response is “yeah, to your face” 🙂

    I’ve met MANY great (and nice) people here… so I’m not passing a blanket judgement. But it is a good point, Americans love aussies, and it’s not typically the same on the other side.

  13. Alex October 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    just following on from my previous comment, because it gets to the nub of what mateship is about… you know what narks me most about mateship? It’s the testing… like one is constantly being assessed, owing some sort of account for their actions and behavior. So long as you are suitably mindless, or perhaps even “nice” (in a bland, unthreatening, unreactive, unconfident, opinionless kind of way), you don’t pose a threat to anyone, and being drunk and/or mindless and/or “nice” defuses any potential for conflict.

  14. Tors October 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Heh, I’ve had rants like that before, too. Usually at the television when some bimbo brekkie show host spouts off with, “Well, at least we aren’t like America…” Lotta hypocrisy, isn’t there. Maybe Aussies and Americans are more alike than not. 😉

  15. Matt November 6, 2008 at 6:15 am #

    Stereotyping is the norm everywhere … if you saw that simpsons episode when they visited Australia it was all one big stereotype but you get usto it, the way i see it, americans can think of me as always drunk, swearing constantly, unclean, and with a below average iq ….. So dont take it to heart dear

  16. Miss Home July 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Yes, I feel the same way. I miss home.

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