www.whyville.net Sep 2, 2013 Weekly Issue

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Stereotype: A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image, or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

Whether it's all Americans are overweight, or all British people have bad teeth, every country, culture or religion has it's own stereotype. People have different views on stereotypes in general, some find them offensive and others just laugh it off. I'm from England and am aware of what people think of England. Some of our well known stereotypes are that we all have bad teeth, we love tea, we all live in castles and we are all obsessed with the Queen and the royal family. I'm not offended by any of these stereotypes although a lot of others might be. I interviewed a couple of Whyvillians from different countries, to find out their opinions on stereotypes.

Jordanew - from U.S.A
KandHshow - from U.S.A
xoxosawa - from U.S.A
Lilastorm - from England
cutelemon - from Canada
zicker - from Australia
Ellieee17- from U.S.A

Honeybbz9: What are some stereotypes you hear about your country?

Jordanew: In America, I feel like the most common stereotypes involve Americans being overweight and being loud and rude. Although, in terms of government, I believe we're known as both nosy and liberating, depending on whom it is that is judging us and their perspective of us.
KandHshow: The most common stereotypes I've heard about Americans, are that we're all fat, loud, and own a shotgun.
xoxosawa: I live in America. Some of the stereotypes, I heard about the United State are that we are overweight and lazy. We are uneducated. Americans are addicted to plastic surgery. We are obsessed with celebrities and so on.
Lilastorm: Well, Americans say that we have bad teeth, but some Britons reply "Only in comparison to your bleached ones."
cutelemon: I'm from Canada. Some stereotypes I hear are mostly silly things like we say "Eh" a lot and it's always cold here.
zicker: The classic Australian stereotype is that all Aussies live in the outback, ride kangaroos and speak like crocodile Dundee. Tourists believe that when they visit Australia, they will see a koala sitting in every tree and people drinking out of vegemite fountains. People usually assume that everyone here says weird expressions like "G'day mate! Crikey, I could eat a horse. Let's go down to the billabong and get us some bush tucker."
Ellieee17: A lot of people say Detroit is full of all thugs and criminals, but it's not. And apparently everyone there is raised to fight and kick people. But that's not true.

Honeybbz9: Do these stereotypes offend you?

Jordanew: They don't offend me at all. Some of them are true about the overall population, but that doesn't mean they are towards me personally. And for the ones that aren't true, I couldn't care less about.
KandHshow: They don't offend me too much, because you just get used to them. Heck, we have stereotypes within our own country. Everyone thinks California is all about surfing (I can't surf for my life) and that the south is uneducated. Both of which aren't true for everyone.
xoxosawa: They do offend me because not everything is true. Some are but not everyone is under the same stereotype.
Lilastorm: Well, most sterotypes aren't aimed at me, but they may be aimed at my people. With the teeth stereotype, I get a little upset, as I look after my teeth, but most British people have far worse stereotypes about Americans, so.
cutelemon: Nope! None of the stereotypes I've heard are negative.
zicker: They don't offend me. I enjoy joking about them with people who aren't from Australia.
Ellieee17: The stereotypes don't really offend me, but it does affect my life a little. Because whenever my family goes out of state and they see were from Michigan strangers will kind of keep caution on us. It doesn't happen a lot but sometimes it does and it makes me feel bad to live in the state.

Honeybbz9: Are any of them slightly true?

Jordanew: Yup. America has a high obesity rate. When it comes to them being loud and obnoxious, that depends on the person you meet.
KandHshow: I'm sure some of them are true to a certain extent. Isn't that how stereotypes start?
xoxosawa: Yes a few are true from what I see. I do believe some Americans are overweight compared to people from other countries.
Lilastorm: As I said earlier, they may be true but only in comparison.
cutelemon: Yes, a lot of people to say "Eh" and our winters can get quite cold.
zicker: Normally the stereotypes are highly exaggerated, although a lot of them are true to an extent. Not everyone, but many people greet others with a friendly "G'day" and call their friends their "mates". Vegemite is a staple pantry food. There are many bush type places where kangaroos wander about. However, the far-fetched stereotypes that involve riding kangaroos to school and wrestling crocodiles are not true.
Ellieee17: I have to admit Detroit does have some criminals, but what states don't? In my opinion every state has some. But people seem to think everyone from Detroit are thugs and it isn't true. Just some are.

Honeybbz9: What do you think of stereotypes in general?

Jordanew: I think they're both good and bad. They limit your mind on how you may think about someone, which I find a negative point. But without a general idea of what a countries culture is like, we'd have no clue what kind of culture we're coming into each time we traveled. The part where it gets over exaggerated and twisted is where it all goes wrong.
KandHshow: I think they're funny if you learn to not get offended.
xoxosawa: It's a love-hate relationship for me. Stereotypes apply well to groups but when it comes to individuals they are wrong.
Lilastorm: I think that stereotypes can be good and bad. My stereotype that all Americans and Canadians are nice, for instance, is not one used as a joke between comrades or to be thrown around as an insult. It is merely a misconception of mine that the Americans and Canadians are a race with no criminals or people who would do me harm. If a stereotype is to be used as an insult, not a fact, then I think it is wrong. If it is your opinion then of course, people must respect that, but it does not do to be telling others your opinion if it could be disrespectful or if they do not wish to hear it.
cutelemon: They can be funny but sometimes offensive depending on what the stereotypes are.
zicker: I think stereotypes are funny. It's funny to do a jig and say you're Irish, sip tea and say you're English and eat snails while claiming to be French. Without stereotypes, countries wouldn't have as much of a cultural identity.
Ellieee17: In my opinion, stereotypes are like rumours and I don't like them, but sometimes I do judge things by the stereotype and I know it's kinda hypocritical. But I do go by stereotypes even though I don't like them.

I'd like to thank all seven girls for taking part in this interview! What is your opinion on stereotypes? Let me know. Thank you very much for reading!

Signing off,


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