After having written an article about Swedish stereotypes I thought I should write one about American stereotypes. It would only be fair. And it’s the Swedish way really. Equality and fairness for all, and n my quest to be more Swedish I have to make an effort right. Welcome to Sweden. So the Americans will be stereotyped as well.
My buddy Ellis Reed often refers to me as the Swedish enigma (he also tells me to “kick a dope verse and then ghost” but that’s a different story). Mostly because I carry myself very much like an American but still have some Swedish in me. It’s interesting, when I am in America I am seen as a Swede, but when I’m in Sweden I’m seen as an American. I’m a wandering soul with no place to call my own. That’s not true but it almost sounded poetic didn’t it?
I very much consider myself American. I grew up there and consider it home. I’m not ashamed to be American and generally stick up for the US in discussions. Traveling abroad during the last few years has not always been easy because of the stereotypes and the views the rest of the world has about the US. Those views being, in no particular order: Fat. Cowboy. Car worshipper. Ignorant to international affairs. Talkative.
Of course, being seen as an American here in Sweden I’ve heard most of these. Obviously I don’t think I fit them at all. I do like having a car though but can get by just fine with public transportation. I suppose some people fit the bill but for the most part I get tired of hearing them. That’s probably the case with most stereotypes, they fit a few people and the rest of the population takes the brunt of it. Collateral damage if you will. It’s a bummer but it happens.
I guess in theory I should be a fat, tall, blonde haired, blue eyed, internationally ignorant guy wearing a cowboy hat as I drive around Stockholm who can’t stop talking. Imagine a grown-up Eric Cartman with a cowboy hat instead of the beanie. Hmmm… sounds like a good looking fella to me. I don’t think that’s me at all though. Who knows, others might disagree. That’s what’s so interesting about stereotypes. There truth lies very much in the eye of the beholder, or the prejudiced.