Study abroad programs can be such a great learning experience— both for guests and hosts. As a host of some sorts (representing fine Americans everywhere) last semester, I was fortunate enough to meet a handful of international students, who were spending their semester studying at UT-Austin.
I became to be pretty good friends with one of them, a French guy who was around my age, in his early 20’s; we often chatted and got to be friends. This guy seemed like a flirt to me — always complimenting me (and it was only enhanced by his French accent), but on further inspection, I realized it was just his utterly-French behavior (yes, I’m going to be a bit stereotypical here). I figured he was just like this with all women, but then he told me he didn’t like American girls.
He said he felt that they just weren’t comparable to French girls, and if anything, he found them to be disappointing in dress and behavior. What an incredibly interesting observation to make, considering there are innumerable American beauties out there!
Taking a look around on our infamous 6th Street on a night out, however, it didn’t take me long for me to understand what he meant: the number of inebriated and scantily-dressed girls was remarkable. Funny enough, it can be said that most girls here dress and act the way they do assuming it’s attractive to men. It would be safe to say that American men, for the most part, seem to think so, anyway. Hmm, is this simply our culture? Less clothes, alcohol and rowdy behavior equals a sexy woman? I guess so. Well, I guess I don’t blame him for choosing his Parisian ladies over our American beauties.
But it turns out it wasn’t just him that thought so…
A few nights ago, I met another bunch of French guys who were here studying abroad. We were all on our way downtown, so we ended up chit-chatting and making small talk on the bus down there. Interestingly enough, French Boy #2 starts telling me he just doesn’t really like American girls, either! Another one! As if taking a cue to help me understand better, a girl in the back of the bus — blonde, beautiful, and seemingly drunk — starts clapping her hands like a child and chanting (no lie), “La, la, la, la!” He turns to look at her, and turns back to me and says in his romantic French accent, “American girls — ze are just gross.”
Could this be a common opinion among foreign visitors to our country? And if so, no wonder even American men drool at the sight and sound of a foreign woman…let’s get it together ladies!