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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » American vs. European "looks" (Page 1)

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Author Topic: American vs. European "looks"
mackillian
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This morning was odd.

I decided to get a fake cappucino at 7-11 before work. Get said drink. Discover my wallet is not in my purse. o_O

Go over to the counter, explain my predicament. Say I'll leave it and come back since I poured it.

Guy says no, no. Don't worry about it, he'll pay for it.

Me, "You sure? I mean.."

Him, "No, no. It's fine."

Me. "Wow..thanks a lot."

Him. "Where you from?"

Me, gesturing towards the north end. "Manchester."

Him. "No, no. You don't look like you're from here. You look European. You born here?"

Me. "Yeah."

Him. "Were your parents?"

Me. "Fifth generation Irish American is all. Very boring."

Him. "Ah ha. Irish. That's it."

...okay. I give. What's the difference between an "American" and a "European" look?

[ March 08, 2004, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: mackillian ]

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Da_Goat
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Americans are fat.
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Raia
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People always think I'm Irish, and I'm Middle Eastern, born in Jerusalem...

Go figure. [Confused]

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CalvinMaker
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*points at title*
What's a "Europen"?

And Jamie, you do kind of look European. I find the stereotypical European to have a darker, slimmer type of structure and look to them. Americans seem to be slightly lighter skinned and slightly chubbier.

Stereotypically, of course. When you get right down to it, it doesn't really apply at all. It's just how I place it in my mind.

You also have a slight accent.

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beverly
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If you did have a slight accent, he may have been responding to it subconsciously. [Confused]
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Slash the Berzerker
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I always thought you looked like a coconut. But those are from the pacific, so not really european.

[Razz]

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mackillian
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Noah: fixed. Slight accent? And I'm not slim and darker skinned.

Slash: --I--

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Anthro
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When we're in Europe(we do look very German still) we play "Spot the Tourist". Or really, "Spot the American".
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PSI Teleport
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Manchester IS in Europe. That's where Davy Jones is from.

I think that you look like a very specific nationality, but I don't know which one. Meaning that most Americans look like a combo of everything, but you look kind of untainted.

Anyway, that's it.

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Slash the Berzerker
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Untainted coconut.
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mackillian
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Untainted how?
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PSI Teleport
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I have no idea.

[Smile]

Glad I could help.

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mackillian
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[Wall Bash]
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Teshi
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I don't know if this is true but something about different ways of speaking for different accents and languages changes the bone-structure of the young growing child and therefore there is presumably a slight difference in a look.

Americans also have (in general) better teeth.

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mackillian
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Are you saying I have bad teeth!?
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PSI Teleport
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*removes Teshi's foot from mouth*

No, not MY mouth.

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plaid
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Teshi -- that's way interesting, if you can find a link or reference for that I'd love to see it!

And when I've got time, I'll dig up the reference to a book by a dentist/anthropologist who did studies showing how diet affected people's faces and bodies (e.g., folks eating whole-food diets have wider noses, better teeth, and, for women, wider hips)...

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Book
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Europeans look fussier and Americans look more ignorant.

Stereotypically, of course.

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Mrs.M
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I think it's the hair. Europeans understand that short haircuts on women are striking and chic. In general, they are much more cutting-edge fashion-wise. Compare French and Italian and even British Vogue to American Vogue and you'll see the difference.
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mackillian
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So I shouldn't grow my hair out? [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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For men, it's definitely the weight. If you're a fat man in Europe and don't have a handlebar moustache, you are assumed by default to be the worst kind of clueless tourist.
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pH
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*ponders* I dunno about the lighter-skinned thing...I tend to think that Americans are much more prone to the fake tan look.
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Mrs.M
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Heck no! It is hopelessly, impossibly chichi. So few women can pull it off the way that you do.
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Valkyrie
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You cant just clasifi all of Europe as one place. In britan, my dad is obvioulsy a turist becasue he is so tall. But the same would not be true in the Netherlands. Some of it is teeth. For some reasons Americans put great emphasas on perfict teath. If you dont have good teeth, you are often subconsiensly thought of as dumb and poor. But im most of the world its prity normal.
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pH
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Define "tall."
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Mrs.M
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I don't know about the height thing - my husband is 6'5'' and he is very obviously of Eastern European descent. When we went to Iceland, he stuck out like a sore thumb.

On the other hand, no one there ever guessed that I was American. Several people thought I was Norweigan and one couple thought I was Irish.

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vwiggin
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[Roll Eyes]

Good gracious Mack, do you not recognize a pick up line when you hear one?

The man was obviously trying to make small talk, to get to know you better. Take a hint why don't you? [Big Grin]

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PSI Teleport
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Hey Mack, here's what my husband said: (he's a man about the world)

"European people aren't necessarily better looking than Americans, I've figured out. They just know how to find the best haircut for a face, and wear it well."

So add that to what Mrs. M. said. We Fantas think your hair is cool.

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plaid
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OK, here's the link. The book is Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price -- he was a retired dentist back in the 1930s who travelled the world and compared what happened when tribal peoples switched over to a Western diet. I'll give a long excerpt here, but it's VERY interesting and worth a read.

(I haven't read the book myself -- I've only heard of it -- but now that I'm thinking about it again I'm gonna give it a try!)

http://www.westonaprice.org/book_reviews/nutrition_physical.html

quote:
More than sixty years ago, a Cleveland dentist named Weston A. Price decided to embark on a series of unique investigations that would engage his attention and energies for the next ten years. Possessed of an inquiring mind and a spiritual nature, Price was disturbed by what he found when he looked into the mouths of his patients. Rarely did an examination of an adult client reveal anything but rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints and chronic fatigue. (They called it neurasthenia in Priceís day.) But it was the dentition of younger patients that gave him most cause for concern. He observed that crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called "facial deformities"--overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones and pinched nostrils. Such children invariably suffered from one or more complaints that sound all too familiar to mothers of the 1990s: frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioral problems. Price did not believe that such "physical degeneration" was Godís plan for mankind. He was rather inclined to believe that the creator intended physical perfection for all human beings, and that children should grow up free of ailments.

Priceís bewilderment gave way to a unique idea. He would travel to various isolated parts of the earth where the inhabitants had no contact with "civilization" to study their health and physical development. His investigations took him to isolated Swiss villages and a windswept island off the coast of Scotland. He studied traditional Eskimos, Indian tribes in Canada and the Florida Everglades, Southsea islanders, Aborigines in Australia, Maoris in New Zealand, Peruvian and Amazonian Indians and tribesmen in Africa. These investigations occurred at a time when there still existed remote pockets of humanity untouched by modern inventions; but when one modern invention, the camera, allowed Price to make a permanent record of the people he studied. The photographs Price took, the descriptions of what he found and his startling conclusions are preserved in a book considered a masterpiece by many nutrition researchers who followed in Priceís footsteps: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Yet this compendium of ancestral wisdom is all but unknown to todayís medical community and modern parents.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is the kind of book that changes the way people view the world. No one can look at the handsome photographs of so-called primitive people--faces that are broad, well-formed and noble--without realizing that there is something very wrong with the development of modern children. In every isolated region he visited, Price found tribes or villages where virtually every individual exhibited genuine physical perfection. In such groups, tooth decay was rare and dental crowding and occlusions--the kind of problems that keep American orthodontists in yachts and vacation homes--non existent. Price took photograph after photograph of beautiful smiles, and noted that the natives were invariably cheerful and optimistic. Such people were characterized by "splendid physical development" and an almost complete absence of disease, even those living in physical environments that were extremely harsh.

The fact that "primitives" often exhibited a high degree of physical perfection and beautiful straight white teeth was not unknown to other investigators of the era. The accepted explanation was that these people were "racially pure" and that unfortunate changes in facial structure were due to "race mixing". Price found this theory unacceptable. Very often the groups he studied lived close to racially similar groups that had come in contact with traders or missionaries, and had abandoned their traditional diet for foodstuffs available in the newly established stores--sugar, refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk and devitalized fats and oils--what Price called the "displacing foods of modern commerce." In these peoples, he found rampant tooth decay, infectious illness and degenerative conditions. Children born to parents who had adopted the so-called civilized diet had crowded and crooked teeth, narrowed faces, deformities of bone structure and reduced immunity to disease. Price concluded that race had nothing to do with these changes. He noted that physical degeneration occurred in children of native parents who had adopted the white manís diet; while mixed race children whose parents had consumed traditional foods were born with wide handsome faces and straight teeth.

The diets of the healthy "primitives" Price studied were all very different: In the Swiss village where Price began his investigations, the inhabitants lived on rich dairy products--unpasteurized milk, butter, cream and cheese--dense rye bread, meat occasionally, bone broth soups and the few vegetables they could cultivate during the short summer months. The children never brushed their teeth--in fact their teeth were covered in green slime--but Price found that only about one percent of the teeth had any decay at all. The children went barefoot in frigid streams during weather that forced Dr. Price and his wife to wear heavy wool coats; nevertheless childhood illnesses were virtually nonexistent and there had never been a single case of TB in the village. Hearty Gallic fishermen living off the coast of Scotland consumed no dairy products. Fish formed the mainstay of the diet, along with oats made into porridge and oatcakes. Fishheads stuffed with oats and chopped fish liver was a traditional dish, and one considered very important for children. The Eskimo diet, composed largely of fish, fish roe and marine animals, including seal oil and blubber, allowed Eskimo mothers to produce one sturdy baby after another without suffering any health problems or tooth decay. Well-muscled hunter-gatherers in Canada, the Everglades, the Amazon, Australia and Africa consumed game animals, particularly the parts that civilized folk tend to avoid--organ meats, glands, blood, marrow and particularly the adrenal glands--and a variety of grains, tubers, vegetables and fruits that were available. African cattle-keeping tribes like the Masai consumed no plant foods at all--just meat, blood and milk. Southsea islanders and the Maori of New Zealand ate seafood of every sort--fish, shark, octopus, shellfish, sea worms--along with pork meat and fat, and a variety of plant foods including coconut, manioc and fruit. Whenever these isolated peoples could obtain sea foods they did so--even Indian tribes living high in the Andes. These groups put a high value on fish roe which was available in dried form in the most remote Andean villages. Insects were another common food, in all regions except the Arctic. The foods that allow people of every race and every climate to be healthy are whole natural foods--meat with its fat, organ meats, whole milk products, fish, insects, whole grains, tubers, vegetables and fruit--not newfangled concoctions made with white sugar, refined flour and rancid and chemically altered vegetable oils.

Price took samples of native foods home with him to Cleveland and studied them in his laboratory. He found that these diets contained at least four times the minerals and water soluble vitamins--vitamin C and B complex--as the American diet of his day. Price would undoubtedly find a greater discrepancy in the 1990s due to continual depletion of our soils through industrial farming practices. Whatís more, among traditional populations, grains and tubers were prepared in ways that increased vitamin content and made minerals more available--soaking, fermenting, sprouting and sour leavening.


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Shan
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quote:
And when I've got time, I'll dig up the reference to a book by a dentist/anthropologist who did studies showing how diet affected people's faces and bodies (e.g., folks eating whole-food diets have wider noses, better teeth, and, for women, wider hips )...
Ahhhh! Redemption is at hand. Bless you, my child, for sharing that! [Big Grin]
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plaid
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Yep... wider hips = easier childbirths, less pain, less deaths...
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Shan
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Less pain?????

Have you had a baby?

*Wanders off muttering, less pain my bleeding arse . . . *

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mackillian
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mmm. I have the body structure that's meant for spitting out kids like greased monkeys.

I have my mom's bone structure. She was in labor with me for a grand total of two hours. [Eek!]

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Shan
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*Sigh*

Friday early morning to Saturday late morning. No fun, me friend - no fun.

But, oh my - what beautiful results . . .

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plaid
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Hey, I said LESS pain, not NO pain...

As in, say, less pain than Nicole Kidman probably had...

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rivka
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Shan, I have had kids, and I agree with plaid. [Big Grin]
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vwiggin
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Nicole adopted her kids. Really, really painless.
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rivka
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Um, plaid, less pain than she had when she adopted her kids?
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plaid
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She adopted? Well, that figures. Maybe she realized she wouldn't survive childbirth. Or not without a caesarian scar...
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bonniet
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European women wear less make-up and tend to have more no fuss hair styles. Europeans tend to walk more than Americans and so they have a different build even if they aren't skinny.
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The Rabbit
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Oh, BTW, that last post was from me.

My observation is that Europeans tend to be fatter than American models and movie stars but thinner than the average American.

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aspectre
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Agree with TheRabbit about body shaping. And that the average American woman in public looks like she's trying to imitate a drag queen, especially at formal/semi-formal functions and work.

[ March 09, 2004, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Kama
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<-- looks European
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Frisco
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All over?
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Lalo
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Not in my dreams she's not.
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Kama
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[Eek!]

[Embarrassed]

[Eek!]

[Roll Eyes]

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Corwin
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How do Americans see someone as being European ? (Besides when looking lost in a big city, there is.) 'Cause it seems a little too vague for me. There are Hyspanic looks, Roman (latin) ones, Nordic ones, Slavic, etc. mack, the guy first mentioned European, THEN Irish - when YOU told him. This can only conclude to one fact (regardless of your looks) -> (as Beren said) IT WAS A PICK UP LINE !

Also, while reading the Landmark Threads I ran into one writen by a LDS back from her mission in Bulgaria (don't remember the name, though). When she came back people thought of her as East European. Now that's a more accurate description ! (though it should have said Slav)

And Kama, do you see a difference between Polish looks and other Slavic looks ?

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mackillian
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[Eek!] :blush:

See. I have horrible guy signal detecting abilities. I think it was from all those years where I never got pick up lines. o_O

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Corwin
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mack, don't worry. His pick up line wasn't that good either. If he'd have told you: "You look Romanian", now THAT would have been something ! [Wink]

(yeah, I'm biased - and away from home. so sue me ! [Razz] )

Btw, where can I see a picture of yourself ? (care to post a linkie ?!) Just to see if he was right, you know [Big Grin]

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KarlEd
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I gotta put my voice in with the PICKUP LINE camp. [Big Grin] The guy thought you were cute and wanted to talk with you. He probably thought you'd like the idea of looking exotic.
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