Author Topic: You don't look American.  (Read 46251 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2011, 09:53:11 PM »
I think this kind of thing is pretty common, to be honest. People have vague stereotypes in their heads that they're barely aware of. I lived in various overseas countries for years and was often told I didn't look Australian. Of course, the person would then have no idea what they thought 'Australian' should look like. A few times it was apparently because I had an 'English face'. (Yeah, no idea about that one).

Even inside the United States, we deal in stereotypes by state. Texans, of which I am one, all have scads of guns, big cars preferably with longhorn horns mounted on the front, and oil wells in our back yards.

...and giant belt buckles. Shiny ones.  :)


Being from New Jersey = huge teased out hair, fake tan, and a love for all things mall. Also a terrible accent and possible mob ties.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

StarDrifter

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 991
  • I never tell people exactly how smart I am
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2011, 12:24:54 AM »
I just copped this one today!

Apparently not only do I not *look* Australian, I don't *sound* Australian and I say my (Scottish, married into the family) last name wrong.

Not sure how I can not look Aussie, we're pretty multicultural. And last I checked, my accent has always been as Australian as Hugh Jackman or Cate Blanchett's!

Then there's the last name question... I just pronounce it the way my (Scottish!) FIL taught me!
... it might frighten them.
Victoria,

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3535
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2011, 01:42:22 AM »
I don't look American, either ... I guess. Americans and non-Americans have regularly told me that since I was a kid.

Frankly if I can be guessed as Jewish (check, though I don't get why Jewish=Un-American), German (check), Latina (nope), Italian (nope), Polish (check), Russian (check) or Middle Eastern (nope), I'd say that makes me pretty darned American Mutt of the Highest Order.

People don't pick up on my other Eastern Eurobits or my English and Irish bits. Guess those have faded out of the gene pool faster.

Brentwood

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 26486
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2011, 03:04:47 AM »
I just copped this one today!

Apparently not only do I not *look* Australian, I don't *sound* Australian and I say my (Scottish, married into the family) last name wrong.

Not sure how I can not look Aussie, we're pretty multicultural. And last I checked, my accent has always been as Australian as Hugh Jackman or Cate Blanchett's!

Then there's the last name question... I just pronounce it the way my (Scottish!) FIL taught me!

Well, we can just say our last names wrong together, then. Given that my grandfather was a first-generation American who learned how to pronounce the name from his Norwegian-born father, then raised my father, who raised me, I'd say I'm doing okay. ;)

Mopsy428

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1819
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #49 on: July 04, 2011, 08:36:37 PM »
I was once chastised because I say my Norwegian last name "wrong".  ::)
I once had a student correct my pronunciation of her last name. She then said, "It's French!" I said, "I know. I am fluent in French. I've lived in Quebec for many, many years. 'X' is how you pronounce your name in French."  ::)

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5488
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2011, 11:30:21 PM »
My German/Italian/English/Irish/French sister was mistaken for a Chinese woman by a Chinese man.  I would like to add more to the explanation, but I am afraid I may insult someone.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Xallanthia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5371
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2011, 12:56:24 PM »
I've been told quite a few times that I look Russian, which is strange as I'm very English and all my ancestors for at least the last few hundred years were from the British Isles somewhere.  I can only assume its because I'm pale?

My husband gets this all the time, and for the same reason (he is predominantly English, as far as we know, but very, very pale (burns on a cloudy day in winter) and with very light hair).  Apparently this means he looks like the Russian upper class.  We go to a Russian church (Orthodox) and people have approached him to ask if he speaks English.  Also, upon first meeting nearly everyone is surprised that he is a convert.  No one is surprised that I am (mostly Italian and look it).

It's not just the Orthodox, though.  His last job was as a pharmacy tech at a grocery store pharmacy that served, among other customers, the Orthodox Jewish portion of the town (primarily Russian Jews).  It was right next to an apartment complex called Shalom Towers, to give you an idea :P.  One of their older customers asked for him as "The Russian One" and refused to take the word of DH's coworker, who was actually a Russian Jew, that he was not Russian and definitely not Jewish.  When DH came over and confirmed both these things the customer said, "Well, he has a Russian soul!"

Xallanthia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5371
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2011, 12:59:23 PM »
My German/Italian/English/Irish/French sister was mistaken for a Chinese woman by a Chinese man.  I would like to add more to the explanation, but I am afraid I may insult someone.

That's very strange, but I suppose when someone is expecting a certain result (like a Chinese woman in China), and a certain mix of phenotypic cocktail is going on...  *shrug*

I mean, there was a priest at my last church who was half Mexican and half Lebanese.  He married a native Alaskan (I believe she was Aleut).  Their son?  Looks Chinese.

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5488
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2011, 03:03:30 PM »
My German/Italian/English/Irish/French sister was mistaken for a Chinese woman by a Chinese man.  I would like to add more to the explanation, but I am afraid I may insult someone.

That's very strange, but I suppose when someone is expecting a certain result (like a Chinese woman in China), and a certain mix of phenotypic cocktail is going on...  *shrug*

I mean, there was a priest at my last church who was half Mexican and half Lebanese.  He married a native Alaskan (I believe she was Aleut).  Their son?  Looks Chinese.

FWIW, we were in a small mall in rural Pennsylvania...As with the cocktail you mention above about your priest's family, I could see where a combination of things could make someone look like a different nationality.  However, that is not so with my sister; especially with her abundance of freckles, I cannot see anything Asian about her.

We have also been mistaken as twins on numerous occasions despite her being 2.5 years older than I; our favorite is when identical twins mistake us for identical twins specifically because we look more like fraternal twins than we do identical twins.  You can tell we are sisters, that much is certain, but I cannot fathom how someone can mistake us as twins.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28662
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2011, 09:33:21 AM »
I was once chastised because I say my Norwegian last name "wrong".  ::)
I once had a student correct my pronunciation of her last name. She then said, "It's French!" I said, "I know. I am fluent in French. I've lived in Quebec for many, many years. 'X' is how you pronounce your name in French."  ::)

Well, technically, I'd say the owner of the name is the one who has the last word on how it's pronounced.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3889
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2011, 09:44:39 AM »
I was once chastised because I say my Norwegian last name "wrong".  ::)
I once had a student correct my pronunciation of her last name. She then said, "It's French!" I said, "I know. I am fluent in French. I've lived in Quebec for many, many years. 'X' is how you pronounce your name in French."  ::)

Well, technically, I'd say the owner of the name is the one who has the last word on how it's pronounced.

I agree. Especially in the US lots of names get their pronunciation anglicized over time.

Mopsy428

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1819
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2011, 10:56:32 AM »
I was once chastised because I say my Norwegian last name "wrong".  ::)
I once had a student correct my pronunciation of her last name. She then said, "It's French!" I said, "I know. I am fluent in French. I've lived in Quebec for many, many years. 'X' is how you pronounce your name in French."  ::)

Well, technically, I'd say the owner of the name is the one who has the last word on how it's pronounced.
I never said otherwise. My point is not that she was "mispronouncing her name". I couldn't care less if it was the French version or not. The point is that I was pronouncing her name as it would be pronounced in French--so her correction of her name to the Anglicized version followed by her snotty "It's French!" was a bit ridiculous.

girlysprite

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1004
  • I like big books, and I cannot lie
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2011, 05:20:08 AM »
Sometimes you don't even have to mix nationalities to get strange results. My mother's side of the family is all Dutch - the family tree has been tracked back for a couple of hundred years. Yet, and uncle of mine has narrow eyes. He producted a daughter with the same eyes, and a very white skin and very black sleek hair to go with it. Many people thought he adopted a child from Asia. When looking at old family pictures, I can see that my great grandma had the same look - she looked like she came from indonesia. We have no idea where it comes from.


Now, I;m bad with guessing nationalities, but one thing always interested me. There is one paticular type of face that I have only seen on UK males. No all UK males look like that (not so many, in fact), but if a man has this face type, he's bound to be from the UK. I can not explain it very well, so here are some pictures from Richard hammond and Tennant.

I think it's the narrow lips, somewhat bulgy eyes and narrow nose. I once had a UK friend who also had that kind of face. Please tell me I;m not crazy for noticing this. :p

Irishkitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 701
  • Ce la vie
    • Cards and Crafts by Carol
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2011, 05:57:56 AM »
I get told all the time that I don't sound Irish, but then they can't tell me what they think I sound like.
It may be because I don't have a very strong accent. "Mid atlantic" or "West Brit" are often used to describe an accent which is nice (posh) accent but doesn't sound like it's from one particular region. (In the same way that someone from Texas has a different accent from someone in New York, and then there are variations within a state, even within a town).

Once an Australian told me that I looked very Irish, curious I asked them what did an Irish person look like? "Oh, well, red hair and green eyes and em... well you still look Irish!"
(I have blond hair and grey eyes)



Ireland
Check out my handmade cards -
http://www.etsy.com/shop/CardsnCraftsbyCarol

Spoder

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3657
Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #59 on: July 07, 2011, 07:22:11 AM »
Sometimes you don't even have to mix nationalities to get strange results. My mother's side of the family is all Dutch - the family tree has been tracked back for a couple of hundred years. Yet, and uncle of mine has narrow eyes. He producted a daughter with the same eyes, and a very white skin and very black sleek hair to go with it. Many people thought he adopted a child from Asia. When looking at old family pictures, I can see that my great grandma had the same look - she looked like she came from indonesia. We have no idea where it comes from.


Now, I;m bad with guessing nationalities, but one thing always interested me. There is one paticular type of face that I have only seen on UK males. No all UK males look like that (not so many, in fact), but if a man has this face type, he's bound to be from the UK. I can not explain it very well, so here are some pictures from Richard hammond and Tennant.

I think it's the narrow lips, somewhat bulgy eyes and narrow nose. I once had a UK friend who also had that kind of face. Please tell me I;m not crazy for noticing this. :p

That's so funny, because I actually *do* get what you mean.

To me, there's a 'Caucasian American woman' face. Probably some minuscule percentage of Caucasian American women have this face, but nearly all women who have this face are Caucasian American women. Errr...make sense?  ;D.

(I can't possibly describe this face but I know it when I see it).