Author Topic: You don't look American.  (Read 46383 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #60 on: July 07, 2011, 02:56:41 PM »
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

I do the same thing!  I look at someone and just think "Wow, he looks British" (FWIW, I lived in England for 6 months, but this thought happened even before that); and the pictures are almost the face I see, too, when I think that.
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Íkorna

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #61 on: July 07, 2011, 04:33:40 PM »
I'm mistaken all the time as both Polish and Jewish. I'm neither ;D

Larrabee

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2011, 05:01:26 PM »
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

I know exactly what you mean, and I'd add Gareth Malone to the list:


Minmom3

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2011, 01:43:11 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).

Even going back several hundred years, isn't it possible that an ancestor is both Indonesian and Dutch?  I thought I read that a lot of Dutch men working there married Indonesian women (more didn't marry them...) but this ancestor DID marry one and brought her back to Holland with him when he returned?  Didn't the Dutch have huge holdings in South EAst Asia back in the 1500-1700 time frame?  Am I nuts and mistaken?
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Ferrets

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2011, 06:31:11 AM »
There is one particular type of face that I have only seen on UK males.
[...]
I think it's the narrow lips, somewhat bulgy eyes and narrow nose.
[...]
Please tell me I'm not crazy for noticing this. :p

Y'know, that reminded me of some TVTropes commentary on Art Spiegelman's Maus. (For those unfamiliar with the work, it's a Holocaust memoir in graphic novel format, recounting the experiences of the author's parents, in which representatives of each nationality are portrayed as different species of anthropomorphic animals.)

Quote
Every shown nationality was given its own animal, except for the Jews which are mice no matter what nation they came from.
[...]
British are fish.
[...]
The English are (or at least were) associated with fish in Eastern Europe, partly because they live on an island and consequently eat a lot of fish, but also because to many Eastern Europeans they look like fish - sharp, narrow noses, strong upper lips, and weak chins are more common among the English than among Poles or Ukrainians.

So no, girlysprite: you're not crazy. ;)

girlysprite

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2011, 09:21:58 AM »


Y'know, that reminded me of some TVTropes commentary on Art Spiegelman's Maus. (For those unfamiliar with the work, it's a Holocaust memoir in graphic novel format, recounting the experiences of the author's parents, in which representatives of each nationality are portrayed as different species of anthropomorphic animals.)


*Tries to steer around the tv tropes link*
*fails*

(Am I the only one who lost at least half an hour to that black hole?)

Ahem, back on topic. I wonder, if anyone else has found certain features that only (some) people from a certain area seem to possess? I mean, apart from the obvious features and the cliches of course (like skin and hair color)


Mental Magpie

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2011, 01:03:31 AM »


Y'know, that reminded me of some TVTropes commentary on Art Spiegelman's Maus. (For those unfamiliar with the work, it's a Holocaust memoir in graphic novel format, recounting the experiences of the author's parents, in which representatives of each nationality are portrayed as different species of anthropomorphic animals.)


*Tries to steer around the tv tropes link*
*fails*

(Am I the only one who lost at least half an hour to that black hole?)

Ahem, back on topic. I wonder, if anyone else has found certain features that only (some) people from a certain area seem to possess? I mean, apart from the obvious features and the cliches of course (like skin and hair color)

*shaking* I did it, I did it!  I know I shouldn't have, you said it was a black hole, but I didn't listen, I didn't listen!  Will I ever make it back?!
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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #67 on: September 03, 2011, 09:34:03 PM »
I think I mentioned in my intro post that I'm Canadian, Albertan, to be more specific.  I'm Prairie born and bred.  I *think* my background is English, Irish and Scottish (the British Isles, anyways) and some French I think also.   To my ear, people from Alberta do NOT have an accent, but Easterners do; the further east you go, the stronger it gets. My father is from northern Ontario, and to me he says a few words strangely. (tagger=tiger),  Newfoundlanders have a pea-soup thick accent to me, and that's as far east as you can get and still be in Canada. 

And yet, I've been told by American friends that I "sound Canadian" or "look Canadian."  I didn't realise the prairies had an accent specific to them (I totally don't think we do), nor that Canadians had a specific appearance to them.  Like the US, we're a melting-pot sort of country and you can find folks of all different backgrounds here.

And as someone else mentioned, I've also been subjected to the stereotype that we live in igloos and drive dogsleds to work.  Others might; I can't speak for everyone, but I live in a regular house, and I take the bus to work...
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magician5

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #68 on: September 03, 2011, 09:52:03 PM »
All very well, but you'll have to admit that you drink Moosehead all the way there and back ... got ya, eh?
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GreenEyedHawk

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #69 on: September 03, 2011, 09:53:13 PM »
Not Moosehead...Molson, eh!
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Mental Magpie

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #70 on: September 04, 2011, 02:40:27 AM »
I think I mentioned in my intro post that I'm Canadian, Albertan, to be more specific.  I'm Prairie born and bred.  I *think* my background is English, Irish and Scottish (the British Isles, anyways) and some French I think also.   To my ear, people from Alberta do NOT have an accent, but Easterners do; the further east you go, the stronger it gets. My father is from northern Ontario, and to me he says a few words strangely. (tagger=tiger),  Newfoundlanders have a pea-soup thick accent to me, and that's as far east as you can get and still be in Canada. 

And yet, I've been told by American friends that I "sound Canadian" or "look Canadian."  I didn't realise the prairies had an accent specific to them (I totally don't think we do), nor that Canadians had a specific appearance to them.  Like the US, we're a melting-pot sort of country and you can find folks of all different backgrounds here.

And as someone else mentioned, I've also been subjected to the stereotype that we live in igloos and drive dogsleds to work.  Others might; I can't speak for everyone, but I live in a regular house, and I take the bus to work...

My mother is Pennsylvanian born and raised; she says "tagger" for "tiger", and it slays me.
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Thyisa

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2011, 07:46:33 PM »
My Grandmother, who was tall, skinny and blonde was mistaken for a Swede, by an airline stewardess.

I was asked if I was part asian when I dyed my hair. Except I dyed my hair a very dark pink, so no idea how that works. I am also a French/German/English/Irish mix, though I have been told I look very French. Except that is the smallest part of the mix and only from French people who came over quite some time ago. But I don't know how French people are supposed to look, so I hope it was a compliment?

My sister and I are mistaken for Brits online. She gets mistaken for one since she's had editorial training and memorized Strunk and White. She often edits things for friends and her command of English makes people assume she is British.

I get mistaken for being British because I drink tea and type 'Loo' rather then bathroom as it is shorter. Sometimes I just need to mention tea and I get mistaken for one. Through I perfer Irish Breakfast to English!

As for regional sterotypes, I guess I fit mine to a T. Through I am from San Francisco, so when people try to joke around about The Californian sterotype, I feel the urge to say no, I'm from the other end of the state. If you're going to make fun of me for being Californian, you have to use the sterotype of doing yoga, eating granola and being vegetarian!

Cami

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2011, 04:23:44 PM »
When we were in Italy, although we dressed to fit in, we were always instantly pegged as American. I remember once walking into a take-out cafe and the clerk barely glanced up before he said, "Americans? Coke -- that way." I asked our guide why we were so easy to peg as Americans and she gave us three reasons why Americans are easy to pick out:

1. Americans smile. Other nationalities do not smile with anything close to the amount Americans do, especially when they walk into a shop and automatically smile at a clerk.
2. When Americans smile, you see the teeth.  Perfect teeth=American.
3. Americans do not have a discernable physical type, so therefore when you see someone without an obvious nationality, we assume they are American. If in doubt, smile at them,  then they'll smile at you and see #1.


Ahem, back on topic. I wonder, if anyone else has found certain features that only (some) people from a certain area seem to possess? I mean, apart from the obvious features and the cliches of course (like skin and hair color)

When we first moved out to the midwest 20+ years ago, three times in the first year I had a conversation that went like this:

Them: You don't look white. Are you white?
Me: Excuse me?
Them: Your looks confuse me. You seem to be white, but you can't be.
Me: Excuuuuse me?
Them: Well, you have black hair, so you can't be white.
Me: Excuse me?
Them: Well, Indians and Asians and black people and  Mexicans have black hair. But not white people.
Me: Are you kidding me?
Them: No. We all know that white people have lighter colored hair.
Me: Oh really. So what race is Elizabeth Taylor? Or Sophia Loren?
Them: Hmm. That's a really good question. And Sophia Loren is Italian, which isn't really white either, so that doesn't count.

Mental Magpie

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2011, 04:33:30 PM »
I quickly got pegged as an American because of my teeth; a teacher initially did, too, until she revealed she was Canadian.  The people doing the pegging said, "Close enough!"

But holy moly, CamiCar!  What about the "Black Irish" with their green eyes and black hair?  I have never, ever heard hair coloring to be the determining factor.

However, I did have someone tell me that I'm not white because I'm part Italian...that really confused me, especially because I'm pretty pasty half of the year and don't think I could be mistaken for anything but.
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Cami

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Re: You don't look American.
« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2011, 02:30:13 PM »

But holy moly, CamiCar!  What about the "Black Irish" with their green eyes and black hair?  I have never, ever heard hair coloring to be the determining factor.

Black Irish -- that's me to the tee, actually. When I pointed that out to those idiots I mentioned above, the response was, "No, no. Irish people have RED hair. RED hair."