Have you ever wondered what foreigners think about the United States and Americans?
There are some stereotypes and controversies that are sure to come up in a conversation among foreigners. But even in the U.S., there are some interesting controversies that many Americans themselves are probably not aware of.
If you asked people to close their eyes and think of an American beer, which one do you think they would mention most? Well, most people would surely come up with Budweiser, Corona, or Miller.
For many, it seems that Americans really like soft beer, and have no other varieties but those. In reality, however, America has one of the most diverse beer brewing landscapes in the world, with more than 1,000 different breweries. Their flavors range from sour over bold to light and sweet.
Some American breweries, like Three Floyds, Russian River, or Cigar City, rival even the very best European ones.
The reason most people believe that Americans only drink Miller, or Corona, and soft beers is because these few brands just happen to be the most popular. And yes, they actually are quite soft in taste.
2. Everyone’s favorite
Just about five years ago, America was among the top 10 most liked countries in the world, according to a national approval rating poll done by the BBC.
However, following many of America’s interventions in international conflicts, it seems there is a strong anti-American wind blowing these days.
But who knows, with the new line of Marvel movies scheduled to hit the cinemas, the number of likes on Facebook might go up!
3. Afraid of ‘everything different’
Although many foreigners visiting the U.S consider Americans to be very friendly and easygoing, a large number of skeptics believe them to be very ethnically centered.
However, according to a BBC poll on the influence of 22 countries, Americans tend to have a more positive opinion about foreign counties.
They also seem more relaxed about the issue of immigration than many people in European countries, who believe there are too many immigrants.
4. Slam dunking ‘crime rate’
Some might consider America to be the international police.
Well, this seems very likely if you look at America’s consistent involvement in international conflicts. On the flip side, America’s crime rate calls for just as much attention.
The U.S. has the highest gun-related murder rate among all the developed countries in the world.
In 2012, there were a staggering 4.7 murders per 100,000 people in the U.S. This might be due to the fact that TV shows like Love Boat and Golden Girls were replaced with Walking Dead and True Blood, who knows?
5. ‘American dream’ just woke up
In the movie An American Tail, with Fievel the mouse, America is celebrated as the country where “cheese grows on trees and there are no cats.” The typical idealistic ambition, a house and a car, seem to be a mere Utopian dream these days for most Americans.
Although America is known to be one of the richest countries in the world, this image seems increasingly shadowed by its rising rates of poverty and inequality in both wealth distribution and income.
However, all of these controversies may be nothing more than conspiracies. When we sit down to watch a Hollywood blockbuster, popcorn in one hand and a Miller Lite in the other, doesn’t life seem to make more sense on the big screen?