7 Things About Americans That Seem Insane To Non-Americans

Flickr / F Delventhal
Flickr / F Delventhal
Here are 7 American attitudes that people from other developed countries find weird.

1. Their weird taboos and hangups about nudity.

Americans have a weird obsession with nudity. In other countries, there is a much more relaxed attitude about it. In the US, taking off your top at the beach might land you in jail and good luck if you leave your 1 or 2-year-old kid to run around naked (you might end up serving a sentence of 30 years to life, much more than a murderer).

In Europe, it is pretty normal to have women take off their top on the beach and have your kids run around naked without anyone making a fuss.

On the other hand, the US is also the world capital of porn and has the highest consumption of online pornography in the world.

2. Their obsession with getting blackout drunk.

In Europe it is pretty normal for parents to serve their kids a small glass of beer or wine with their meals. This builds up a healthy tolerance for alcohol in kids. Alcohol is not seen as something forbidden and makes it much less likely for teens and young adults trying to go out and get wasted, passing out in the street. This is something you can only see on US college campuses and in the UK.

3. Their high age restrictions on forbidden pleasures.

Seriously, you have to be 21 to drink? In many US states, it is illegal to have sex if you are under 18 while it is legal for you to drive at 16? Why these arbitrary ages?

Forbidden fruits always taste the sweetest and in fact having these high age limits just promotes the opposite type of behavior. This is the reason why you have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the most conservative states and young adults for the first time away from home in college getting alcohol poisoning from drinking too much.

An interesting factoid on how societal values change is the fact that the Virgin Mary was 12 or 13 years old when God made her pregnant. I like to throw that factoid out, as it is quite shocking for modern ears, especially in the developed world. However, if you go back 200 or 300 years ago, you will find that most of your great-great-great grandmothers were also between the ages of 12 and 16 when they first got pregnant.

4. Their inability to speak more than one language.

Most Americans do not speak another language besides English. In fact, even Americans of immigrant background lose their ancestral language in the second or third generation. In most other countries around the world, it is very common for people to be able to speak two or more languages.

5. Their belief that the US is the center of the universe.

One thing that can really annoy foreigners is talking about the US as if it were the “greatest” country in the world. You do realize that by saying this, you are implying that anyone from any other country is by default a second-class person just by the fact of them being born abroad? This type of superiority complex and self-righteousness can really get on people’s nerves.

6. The way they stuff themselves with junk food.

America today has become the land of the big. And by big, I mean fat. Many people don’t eat properly and don’t exercise properly. Instead of playing sports themselves, they prefer to watch them on TV, beer and chips in hand, cigarettes at the ready.

Once they realize they are too fat, many Americans fall under the spell of different fad diets. They start crash-dieting and once these crash diets fail, they end up going back to their old habits.

7. They don’t take vacations.

Most Americans live to work instead of working to live. Vacation times rarely exceed two weeks, and extensive overtime at work is the norm. This leads to more stress, more illnesses, and high rates of burnout, all coupled with having a nonexistent private life. This is often coupled with the fact that many working-age Americans don’t even have health insurance.

Of course this is all relative, as in Japan people oftentimes work more, but in Europe, it is the norm to have four or five weeks of vacation. Wouldn’t it be better to work to live instead? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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