Stereotyping is the language of hate, ignorance, and comedy.
Unfortunately, growing up in America, I had very little international exposure and my early impression of the outside world was sadly constructed of Hollywood stereotypes. It wasn’t until I finally left the country in my early 20s that I realized that most Swedes don’t look like the Swedish Bikini Team and that Australians don’t regularly throw a shrimp on the barbie.
Perpetuating stereotypes is always good for an easy laugh in Hollywood, but far too many Americans simply buy into the stereotype and consider it reality (and are therefore rather disappointed when they finally visit Sweden).
So what are the worst stereotypes my fellow Americans have grown up believing?
The following is a YouTube collection of perhaps the most iconic. Having now been to nearly every country lambasted below, I can confirm that none of them lived up to their Hollywood portrayal. Except, perhaps, the Canadians (I’m joking, folks!).