Global Misconceptions

Posted Tue, 03/23/10

The global perception of Americans as lazy and fat has become so tiresome. I'm not sure if it is because people really feel that way or if the world is still subconsciously smarting from the negative influence of George W. Bush and lash out accordingly.

This morning I read an article at the Daily Mail about Michelle Obama reviving interest in the hula-hoop as a form of exercise, but comments left by other readers at the end of the piece got my attention as well.

I'd have thought the average American would have been too fat to fit through a hula-hoop. (Mike, England)

The Americans are lazy and fat. Good. Michelle has inspired them to exercise. (Ms. D. Lee, Hong Kong)

I also dropped a note in response:

To Mike (England) and D. Lee (Hong Kong): Why do you categorize all Americans as lazy and fat? Do you know every American? If so, should we all assume the English are pasty, self-entitled sissies or that the Chinese are shifty and dishonest? No, of course not. It takes just as much effort to be decent as it does to be nasty. Why not try it? It might make the world a better place.

What are common perceptions across the world? The Irish are thought of as "jolly" drunks, the Italians as lovers, the French as rather namby-pamby, the Scots as tight-fisted, the Russians as vodka-swills, and so on and so forth.

People come in all shapes, sizes, creeds, colors and religions across the globe. The differences between us should be celebrated rather than attacked because of prejudices based on uneducated misconceptions.

But then that would make a nearly-perfect world, and no one wants that, do they?

Tags: Politics