Global opinions of Americans are both positive and negative. It’s difficult to know exactly what a world with seven billion people really thinks about the most talked about and controversial nation on earth.
However, award-winning author of eight books, veteran journalist, songwriter, and photographer René Zografos brought together the voices of more than 1,000 people from around the world to highlight their opinions of Americans.
Zografos told Yahoo Travel, “Every human person has something to say about America or knows something about America. And it wasn’t always positive.”
For close to seven years, René interviewed more than a thousand people from around the world, and then offered the results of his research in his book, Attractive Unattractive Americans: How the World Sees America. The book is full of hundreds of compliments, criticisms, and opinions of Americans.
For example, Zografos notes Scandinavian countries have a tendency to view Americans in a positive way. Though a number of Scandinavians are critical of American practices, they embrace American entertainment and view a Hollywood image of most Americans.
On the other hand, René found a more negative image of Americans from people living in Southern European countries like Greece and Italy, due primarily to major differences in lifestyle.
René wants readers to know he didn’t write his book to point fingers or anger anyone.
On the contrary, he points out on how he hopes his conclusions will help bring people around the globe closer to happiness.
“I think too many people in America are just chasing after something they might not want–to be socially accepted, to attain wealth, or a bigger house. I think they would be happier if they chased something that they actually wanted, instead of what was expected.”
A number of people from around the world view Americans as winners.
Sandra from Germany briefly explains how America’s winning mentality was most inspiring to her.
“Before I went to America I was a shy little student afraid of almost everything in this world. But America taught me to be brave and outgoing. Thank you, America.”
America has a variety of positives to consider. Americans pride themselves on tradition. They also demonstrate a powerful sense of community. Nonetheless, some people in other countries seem to love to hate America, declaring Americans are flashy, loud, and selfish.
Derek from England points out how ironic this negative attitude seems.
“I have always wondered why so many folks say that they don’t like America but still keep traveling back there year after year.”
Americans are also viewed as stressed out, which Maria from Chile explains.
“Americans must certainly learn to slow down! Even on vacation, they are very stressed. Relaxation never seems to be an option.”
According to some people in other countries around the world, Americans seem shallow.
“Americans’ philosophy is to live so they can work. We work so we can live, meaning there are other things in life that are more important than working.”
According to René’s findings, today’s American society places huge demands on the individual; they are always striving to render a positive image and appear focused on themselves instead of others. This self-centered attitude can make Americans seem inconsiderate to other cultures and countries.
Karin from Sweden says, “We don’t hate America as a nation. We just hate their attitude toward the rest of the world.”
René Zografos’ book, Attractive Unattractive Americans: How the World Sees America, is scheduled to be released by Renessanse Publishing in August.
[Featured image courtesy of Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]