- What can I say, Americans are weird creatures.
Although the United States is certainly a melting pot, we do have a culture all our own. And to be honest, it’s a weird one. Here’s a bunch of proof that American culture is one of the weirdest out there.
It’s not surprising that us as Americans are pretty damn sensitive, in comparison to other cultures that is. Nicknames based on color or appearance are common practice across the world but here in America? Whew. Watch your step if these are the kind of nicknames you like.
This day in age it does nothing more than piss me off when it comes to women’s bodies. If we show off, we’re a slut, if we dress comfy, we’re lazy, and if we breastfeed in public, we’re clearly sexualing the experience and showing off. Or we aren’t. The only place so judgy, and I mean the only place, that feeding your baby when your baby is hungry, is the United States. Alright, that’s not true. Cultures where women can show nothing more than their eyes are clearly not breastfeeding in public, but overall, this is another one of those super touchy subjects, to us Americans that is.
Don’t Talk to Strangers
If we haven’t heard this a million times as a kid, then we didn’t hear anything. In other countries, people stay to themselves if they don’t know you. Americans feel the need to fill in the gaps, fill the silence, or literally always be doing something. Being that I’m from the Midwest, it’s a beautiful and community feeling when people you don’t know ask how you are, do something nice for you, or even extend an unanticipated compliment your way. In other countries, if you say something to a stranger and you don’t get a response, it’s not that their rude, though they may be, it’s probably just they are different than us friendly Americans. (And to be honest, maybe partly because a lot of other countries just do not like us.)
The Three-Foot Bubble
If you’re an American, you already know what this is. Because we as Americans, well, we’re freaks. Besides the whole COVID-19 fiasco, most countries have a closeness we don’t. This extends to how close we are to strangers in public place and even our greetings, in example, a handshake in America versus cheek kisses in France. We think it’s aggressive and creepy when others are too close to us. Oh, and for those non-Americans reading this, the three-foot bubble is the absolute minimum space most of us want from others, and truth be told, it doesn’t matter if we know you or not.
Americans are mostly overworked and underpaid. We have crappy healthy insurance and next to no “true vacation” time to speak of. It’s such a cultural issue that people literally think they have to work 7 days a week or seemingly be on call 24/7. (Case in point: I’m on a flight home right now, typing away. But I did just have a nice long weekend break for the most part, and my freelance writing boss is amazing, so there’s that.) But beyond long weekends and great bosses, it’s too much, and unfortunately a staple within our culture. Spain has siesta in the middle of the day, which breaks up the work day and helps create and maintain that work/life balance. Other countries take more time with their life, savor and enjoy things more. We have 60-hour work weeks and 15-30 minute work breaks, for many. Ugh.
This is not a problem in America, if anything it’s the opposite. It’s like the rest of the world is always in their “Sunday best,” while we, well, most of us don’t even get dressed every day. As a current full-time student, a freelance writer, and a part-time cleaner on the side for cash, it’s hard to get myself out of comfy clothes around the house or out of leggings for work. Pajamas last for hours after I get up and leggings post-cleaning often stay on until bed. For many (beyond outrageous) examples, see the people of Walmart. It’s not always to that extreme, but they did get the pictures from somewhere so who are we to say?
For me it’s the breastfeeding judgements that get me. What is the most extreme part of this American culture to you?