Have you ever stopped to think about certain aspects of American culture and deemed them weird? For example, I think child beauty pageants are completely strange and off-putting. After someone polled an online community for other examples, here is what THEY had to say. Do you agree?
1. Pharmaceutical Commercials
Did you know that prescription drug commercials aren’t manipulating the rest of the world? What do you think it does to someone subliminally to repeatedly hear about things like Mesothelioma? Then, the medicine always has a long list of side effects worse than the condition they “allegedly” alleviate, including death. Remember, none of them are the cure.
2. The CIA Trolling Us
“Every twenty years or so, they declassify a file that says, ‘You’re right. We did it. What are you going to do about it?’ Remember when it was revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was mostly made up? Yeah, that eventually came out, and nobody seemed to care,” one writes.
3. Tipping for Everything
“Tipping,” states another. “For everything. For the smallest things. For people simply doing their jobs. It’s gotten. It’s really out of hand with the shift to digital card readers for cash registers. It’s just a built-in part of the app. There was a particular range of services where a tip was socially acceptable or expected. Or it’s just at every point of sale. There needs to be real public grappling with it.”
4. Advertisements in Sports
“Advertisements in sports,” says a forum member. “Baseball and Football are so frustrating to watch when the sports themselves seem to be designed to shoe in as many advertisements into your head as physically possible.
In the last Baseball game I went to, we spent over $150 on our tickets, and still ENDLESS ads blaring everywhere in the stadium. I hate it. And sports gambling commercials are becoming popular, too.”
5. Poor People Are Obese
Something I had never thought about until this user noted it, “The poor are obese. In most other countries, when you see abject poverty, you can see people starving with their ribs poking out.” It’s because the cheapest food is jam-packed with sugar. This is not to say all poor people are obese.
6. Legal Drinking Age
“Being able to fight and die for your country before being allowed to purchase and drink a beer,” one admits. “I hate alcohol, and I didn’t serve. However, this is still pretty silly, and I think it contributes to alcoholism by making it taboo (and therefore cool) in your teen years.” Don’t forget you can buy a gun and drive a motor vehicle before legally purchasing alcohol.
7. Gun Culture
OK. Well, I think we can all agree that this is a challenging subject. The Second Amendment allows us to bear arms, but there are mass shootings nearly every day, and NOTHING is being done. Much of the world does not understand or support America’s gun culture.
I’m conflicted between what I’ve been taught about needing them to protect our other rights and the emotions I feel whenever I see another headline. I don’t have a solution. But suggesting there isn’t a problem that needs amending is blissful ignorance and flat-out denial.
I agree with one flabbergasted American: “Wanting everyone to have decent healthcare coverage that doesn’t cost a fortune somehow makes you an evil communist.” I don’t know why this is a debate.
The health insurance system is a scam, and people deserve a right to life-saving procedures without struggling the rest of their financially because of it. So, it is weird that for-profit health care is not only accepted but praised.
9. Hustle Culture
Bragging about working ourselves to death is a weird flex. Hustle culture has become a toxic movement of false positivity that people project on you. It’s almost like you’re judged as lazy if you’re not working every hour of your life.
I’m sorry. But God did not create us to work even 40-hour weeks. Let alone double that. I do it. I still do it because I have kids who need to thrive, but it’s an unfair conundrum.
10. Obsession With the British Monarchy
“The fact that some Americans still somehow care about the royal family. Or anything in Europe. It’s weird, considering our history with the British monarchy. The media pushes it so hard even on the national evening news shows.”
11. Being Anti-American
“Being anti-American,” writes another. “I’m not saying you need to tattoo the flag on your calf or ride a bald eagle to work or anything. But many Americans lately are so anti-American they’re basically foaming at the mouth for their own country to fail.
I can’t understand that viewpoint. I want the country to improve, and I think it can. But I also acknowledge that currently, it’s still a pretty darn good place to live despite its flaws.”
12. Celebrity Worship
While not strictly American culture (the world) obsesses over celebrities. What they are wearing, who they are dating, what they eat, what cosmetics and toiletries they use, and everything in between.
13. Hostile Political Landscape
“I’m from Europe,” states another. “And it’s strange how hostile the political landscape in the U.S. seems to be. Our politics can be nasty, but they are nothing compared to the destructive viciousness that seems to permeate U.S. politics.”
14. College Sports Obsession
Collegiate sports. “No other country does anything like it. This obsession with college sports (especially football) where average dudes have to feign their allegiance with a team to have a conversation with some guy in an airport Chili’s because they’ve been at trade shows in Phoenix for a week and have had nothing but artificial conversations with vulture-like tech integration bros and are craving any sort of legitimate human interaction.”
15. Infant Male Circumcision
“Infant male circumcision,” another person reports. “Only 30% of males are circumcised on the planet. The vast majority of that percentage is religious circumcision. Most of the rest are tribal practices. America is this sole weird country that, on a large scale, just randomly does it, and no one can really say why.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.