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Student Blog: How the USA was Part of My Childhood

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Through the media, the USA managed to have a huge worldwide influence.

Student Blog: How the USA was Part of My Childhood
Credit: Unsplash

As a European raised by Hollywood movies and TV shows, the USA have been a big part of my childhood. I remember seeing LA in Big Time Rush or Seattle in iCarly. Metropolises such as New York or Chicago have always fascinated me, and I was far from being the only one. Living in a small village, my friends and I often found ourselves dreaming of tall buildings and endless crowds instead of our usual cows and mountains. We would drink soda and think that it "tasted American".

At one point in my life, all of my classmates wanted to go live in the US. This infatuation led to the exportation of very typical American brands in other continents. Some shops are specialized in this. You can go there to buy overpriced Lucky Charms, Reese's or Nerds. Anytime I went to a city and found one of them, I would beg my parents for some Hershey's chocolate I had seen on TV. They always rightfully told me no. After all, I come from the country where the best chocolate is made. I will take no criticism on this point; Switzerland rules, sorry not sorry.

Some of our supermarkets have "special American weeks". During them, they sell American food such as pancakes, milkshakes, cookies or hot dogs. These special sales usually happen around the 4th of July, perhaps the world's most known National Holiday alongside the French one. Of course, we eat cookies or hamburgers yearly, but if on the package it says that it is made the "American way", with the star-spangled banner on the background and the Statue of Liberty on it, it becomes suddenly very more attractive.

Another all-American thing is huge supermarkets. I remember seeing the size of the store shelves going up to the roof on TV and not believing my eyes. I kid you not when I tell you that my ultimate life goal at 13 years old was visiting a Target. How can the same shop sell food, guns, drugs and clothes? That is still a mystery six years later. It is very easy to be fascinated by a country where everything looks oversized and straight out of a movie.

Years later, by enlarging my horizons, this obsession gradually faded. I no longer dream of hot dogs street vendors, or skyscrapers. I can now more clearly assess the immense influence the USA has on the rest of the world. The media greatly helped the impact with, for example, MTV. Globalization makes the "exoticism" I used to find in a packet of Sour Patch Kids slowly disappear, for the greater or the worse.

A new trend emerged on TikTok recently. It is a bit different from what I just wrote about, but it is what inspired this article. Asian Americans are mocking the way that white people romanticize Asian culture and created the "asiancore", a mix of different cultures grouped together because they originated on the same continent, regardless of their specificities. Vice wrote an article about it.


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