Gringo Stereotypes for Brazil: What Do We Really Think?

gringo stereotypesBRAZILIANS are INDIANS that live either in the AMAZON RAINFOREST (which really BELONGS TO THE U.S.A.) or on the beaches of RIO in either GRASS HUTS or FAVELAS. The only things they care about are CARNIVAL, SAMBA & FOOTBALL.

Their WOMEN are all DARK-SKINNED, BEAUTIFUL, SEXY, EASY to get in bed, with BIG BUTTS and walk around NAKED in public. Brazilians eat FRUIT DIRECTLY FROM THE TREES, play SOCCER all day long on dirt fields while listening to SAMBA, drinking CAIPIRINHAS and playing with their PET MONKEYS.

All Their politicians are CORRUPT, their streets are all DANGEROUS, their idols are PELÉ & RONALDINHO, and they speak SPANISH as their native tongue. And of course, BUENOS AIRES is the capital of Brazil.

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How do you feel after reading all those stereotypes? Did you get mad? Take a deep breath and relax. This list of stereotypes did not come from gringos. This is actually a collection of negative stereotypes that Brazilians themselves reported when asked about what foreigners think about Brazil.

The big question, why all the pessimism? Brazilians are one of the most loved peoples in the world. Show me the love! Today I’m going to challenge you to take a hard look at your beliefs and ask you to reconsider some important questions that may drastically change the way you look at the Brazilian place in the world:

  • What do Brazilians think the world thinks about Brazil?
  • What does the world really think about Brazil?
  • And finally, one gringo’s attempt at a balanced perspective.

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What Brazilians Think the World Thinks

A lot of Brazilians believe that the above list is an accurate representation of what the rest of the world really thinks about them.  Just to be clear, this is not what I think about Brazil. Frankly, I’ve never met anybody so ignorant or malicious to believe more than a few of them. This is such a controversial topic, about which Brazilians love to talk, argue, vent and above all, exaggerate.

It´s an extremely popular but delicate issue that has popped up again and again in the RealLife English International Community (an international English learning community where people come together to practice via video chat connections). Today I’m going to show both sides and try to suggest a more balanced truth as to what the rest of the world thinks.

Try This Perspective

BRAZILIANS are the most FRIENDLY people in the world, forming a RICH & DIVERSE CULTURE that knows how to ENJOY life. The AMAZON RAIN FOREST is the LUNG OF THE WORLD, with huge BIODIVERSITY and FASCINATING indigenous HERITAGE that needs to be CELEBRATED and PROTECTED.

The world knows Brazil for being the top FOOTBALL COUNTRY with HEROES like PELÉ & RONALDINHO that greatly INFLUENCED the history of soccer around the world.  Brazil knows how to PARTY and how to CELEBRATE its BEAUTIFUL CULTURE with many FESTIVITIES throughout the year such as CARNAVAL.  The WORLD IS AMAZED by cultural expressions like SAMBA and CAPOEIRA. RIO DE JANEIRO is one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES IN THE WORLD, with MARVELOUS BEACHES and everybody wants to visit CRISTO REDENTOR.

Brazil is known for its INCREDIBLE MUSIC, DELICIOUS FOOD, including mouth-watering FRUITS, as well as world-renowned BARBECUES and FEIJOADA.  Brazilian WOMEN are known to be among the SWEETEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL & SENSUAL WOMEN in the world.

Positive Stereotypes of Brazil

This is a collection of the positive stereotypes about Brazil that many gringos, including myself, believe about Brazil and Brazilians. I grew up near Seattle, U.S.A. acquiring a lot these ideas long before I even stepped on Brazilian soil.

Even though I had only met three or four Brazilians before my twentieth birthday, the vast majority of the things I had heard about Brazil were positive, and the Brazilians I met along the way only reinforced this positive viewpoint as pleasant people. And no, I was never taught that the Amazon Rain Forest belonged to the U.S. (nor had I ever heard of this happening until a few Brazilians vehemently told me that this happens in the U.S. Until now, this still seems absurd to me).

Of course, even the positive side doesn’t represent an impartial perspective, as I was a dreamer with my eyes set on Brazil, but the positive stereotypes written here, in my opinion, reflect a much more accurate international perception of Brazil than the negative ones that a lot of Brazilians carry.

Honestly, I was always fascinated by Brazil. The two exchange students at my high school were really nice people and through the documentaries, movies, and other aspects communicated about Brazil through the American media, I became amazed by Rio, the Amazon Rain Forest, Samba and stories of Capoeira. I bought a poster of Cristo Redentor when I was in college and hung it on my wall as I dreamed of future adventures.

Was my perception of Brazil totally accurate? NO! But it made sense to me and my upbringing, and it wasn´t negative. My stereotypes were molded by Brazil’s international fame as put forth by the media that I was exposed to (largely about Carnaval, the Amazon Rain Forest, and Rio), and the handful of Brazilians I met. Not everything I believed was true. I was ignorant to a lot.

For example, I remember being surprised when in college I met a blonde girl from the South of Brazil. That was embarrassing, but my mistake makes sense when you consider how Brazil was presented in the American media. I´m not excusing such glaring ignorance, but the media rarely showed blonde Brazilians, and in the United States we didn’t learn about European immigration in Southern Brazil or the ethnic makeup of Brazilians.

But, even with my ignorant points, I loved Brazilian culture, and I still do. Brazil is something I dreamed about for years and my perspective was built with the positive experiences that I searched for. I know that my perceptions are colored by my experiences and not by other peoples’, which is to say that reality is subjective. I represent the positive side of the spectrum, but in sober reflection, I know there is another side.

One Gringo’s Humble, Balanced Truth

Brazil is another country with its own mix of positive and negative perspectives. In many ways, and for many people, Brazil is one of the brightest lights in the world, but for others, it’s just another third-world Latin American country with big problems. A lot of people love Brazil, with good reasons, because Brazilians are nice, charismatic and interesting, but others only see the problems: corruption, crime and inequality, among others.

There are a lot of misconceptions, but most of these don’t come from malice, but rather from ignorance, and the fact that people tend to generalize what they see in the mass media. Even if it´s difficult to accept, most Brazilians do the same thing with other countries. I’m American and most people, whether they see it or not, come at me with preconceptions that range from “America the glorious land of Hollywood, public order and happy people” to “America, the Great Satan that rapes and pillages the rest of the world to  drill for oil.”

The truth is somewhere in the middle. The U.S. has a lot of serious problems with international relations, but there’s a lot of really awesome stuff about my country and people too. Not to recognize this is a mistake.

With Brazil, some of the most interesting aspects in the eyes of the rest of the world really are the Amazon Rain Forest, Rio de Janeiro, and Soccer. You guys are only one of the best soccer countries in the world. Even if you don´t play soccer, or dance samba, you don´t have to be offended if people think you do. It is not a bad thing.

Brazilians could embrace this ignorance (or learning process) with patience for the rest of the world, and recognize that sometimes people haven’t been privileged to have the opportunity to learn about other aspects of Brazil, and that maybe these stereotypes represent interest in you and your culture rather than apathy.

This represents your opportunity to be an ambassador for your country and culture and unveil the countless other amazing and interesting aspects of Brazil and Brazilians.

If you liked this article, you can like it below, and/or become an official member of the RealLife English International Community by providing your e-mail in the box below. It’s a free and open social network for English speakers and learners, based in BH, where you can learn and practice English with foreigners and Brazilians, using community, culture and meaningful relationships. With your free membership, you will receive an invitation into our International Facebook Community, in addition to future Real Life English in person meetings.

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Return from Gringo Stereotypes for Brazil to Cultural Reflections

  • Hey Justin,
    My friend from Arizona really thought we spoke Spanish in Brazil. She tells the story when she learned we speak Portuguese.
    Her: Really, you are from Brazil?? I can speak Spanish!!
    Her new Brazilian friend: Really? I can’t speak Spanish.
    Her: What do you mean you can’t?What language do you speak in Brazil?
    Her friend: Portuguese
    Her: ohh

  • Pingback: How to Use the Word ‘Mean’ When Speaking English()

  • Emily

    I think since Brazil became a large economy in the world, people got much more attention in our country and it’s hard to find someone still confusing us with other south american country or thinking that we live long-side with monkeys walking in the streets.
    But even though, some people for completely ignorance, think that we speak spanish, or that our Portuguese is the same one from Portugal (I watched an american tv show and a guy who’s supposedly from Brazil, had a Portuguese accent).
    Anyway, in my opinion it’s all about to be interested in learning what is true and what is not. I myself still need to learn some things from a lot of countries, specially in Africa and Asia area.

  • Justin

    Emily, Excellent comment! I totally agree and I think people who are in tune with what´s happening internationally are aware of this. Life education is always good and there´s no better way than travel. My point with Brazilians is that there is a hyper paranoia about what others think, when in reality people have a pretty good perception of Brazil. I suppose we tend to remember the negative stuff a lot more easily. I heard somewhere that for every negative thing we hear, we need five positive points to balance it out.

    Would you agree? Where are you from?

    • Justin

      sabemos! porfavor lê o artigo inteiro! São os preconceitos que as pessoas tem!

  • Bruna Castro

    Hello, Justin.

    I myself am a Brazilian, though I’ve lived in the States for seven years. I am very glad to say that I enjoyed your article, and found it very amusing. You’d probably be surprised to know that I am only twelve years old. From my time living in Florida, I noticed that many people do actually think that Brazilians speak Spanish, are dark-skinned, live in Rio de Janeiro and that the Amazon is not in their possession anymore. I felt offended, obviously, but knowing that my country was more than that, I easily got over it. From what I also witnessed, Americans, despite these Brazilian rumors, enjoy our food and culture. I’m glad that I read this article, and I thank you for writing it.

    Best wishes,
    Bruna.

    • Justin

      Cool man, I liked your site. Really interesting. I appreciate the comment.

  • Great article. 🙂

    Most Brazilians are very pessimist about Brazil. That’s including me.

    I used to see only the negative side of Brazil (corruption, dirty and ugly cities, dangerous streets, huge taxes over electronics and cars, the insanely hot weather, the bad taste in music and TV shows…).

    Now I’m living in the Seattle Area and I miss a few things from Brazil. Well, I love Seattle, it’s clean, organised, safe, and the weather is greeaat! But I miss the cheaper health services from Brazil and the public universities. 🙂

    So, now I see some positive things about Brazil that I never actually thought about when I was there. 🙂

    • Justin

      Hey Liana, Great to hear from you. I’m glad you’re opening your mind to a new perspective on Brazil. Hey, I’m from the Seattle area. I was born in Everett. You should join the RLE International Facebook Group- http://www.facebook.com/groups/reallifeenglish/ Abraço!

  • Yussef

    … YOU FORGOT THE MEXICAN SOMBREROS AND MARACAS, AND CUBAN SALSA y MERENGUE.

  • Shaun

    This is a great article and I was shocked when I began to read I have never heard of anyone believing some of those things but when I saw that it was what Brasilian thought of themselves I saw that this article was also about Changing how some Brasilian have a low self value of themselves. Most people I know think Brasilian and nice and interesting people.They think Brasil is Beautiful land I have never met anyone who said they wouldn’t want to visit. Now some I agree with most everything written however there is one thing that Puzzles me. “Their WOMEN are all DARK-SKINNED,” This is shocking because most Americans i know,met, and/or have seen on TV tend to think people from Brasil ,especially the women look like gisele bundchen . Which is not true.
    I think this is mostly becasue of the media and I never see a darker skin Brasilian Mode/Actress in movies or Magazine. Very rare. Most Americans think thatuntil they educate themselves.So I think it is possible for some people tot hink all Brasilians are dark skin but that is very very hard for me to belive. Anyway Great article I will share this with my Brasilian friends. Deus Abencoe

    P.s. I found this video online it kind of address what I was talking about.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfldf7vwzLA

    • Justin

      Thanks a lot Shaun for your insightful comment. It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge of Brazilian culture, and I agree about the general positive reputation. The part about the women being dark-skinned was just what I grew up believing based upon the media I was exposed to. Thanks a lot for your feedback and thanks for the interesting video.

    • Justin

      eu também!

  • Great text, loved how simple you made such a controverse subject, nice to see diferent points of view and now I’m thinking about being a less mad about foreign people asking me about soccer and trying to talk in spanish with me. Thanks!

    • Justin

      Thanks for reading Flavia, and your nice comment! Also, I’m sure misinformed gringos will be happy to learn from you.

    • Justin

      Hey Camila, Thanks for such an insightful and in-depth response. I really appreciate your perspective!

  • Alexandre Foureaux

    Howdy Justin?

    I was born in Rio, and @ 35 y/o I moved up to the US for 17 years (today I’m also an American citizen). I very well know both countries, and the only thing I can say is: the US has an equivalent fever for sports, say baseball, football and many more than Brazil, in addition to that, people loves rock & roll (equivalent to the amount of samba or higher), not considering the larg amounts of Jazz that rolls in New Orleans!). Southern hospitality (where I lived) is outstanding. Not trying to sound like a “smart butt”, but both countries have a fair amount of similar positive sides. My question is: …if Brazil is so rich in terms of natural resources, way more than, say Japan, Germany and so on, how come it is still idling 100 years behind the modern times? (hints: mentality, honesty, competence, professionalism, dedication…….yadda, yadda, yadda). If US were “that fun” it would be idling in time as well.

    Regards,
    Alex Foureaux

  • Não, a Floresta Amazônica não pertence ao EUA!

  • I personally love Brazil and with a very few exceptions adore Brazilians…I like their sense of fun, their passion, their loudness, their vibrancy, their diversity, their kindness, their sheer love of living, amongst many other qualities, they still know what’s really important, family and friends. Brazilians have made me very welcomed and I respect that and I try not to forget that I am a guest in their home.
    [email protected].

  • I live in Australia and here I’m frankly tired of hearing people saying: Brazil? ?? Oh! Samba carnival! Futbol! Hot girls! Here the vast majority thinks Brazil is Rio de janeiro. And that’s it. I personally blame brazilian media and turism for that. Every single picture I see referencing to Brazil is a picture of Rio with almost named women with feathers on their heads and a lot of party. They also get really surprised that I’m so white(I’m from Curitiba) . They are really surprised of the huge country culture in Brazil. Most of them think the whole country behaves just like Rio. And that really upsets me.

    • kakenai

      “I’m so white(I’m from Curitiba)”. You say you’re tired of the “everyone in Brazil is dark-skinned” stereotype but are contributing to the “everyone who was born in the south region of Brazil is probably white” stereotype. That’s pretty ignorant of you.

    • Sérgio H. L. Cabral

      Here you have a picture of southern Brazil, Willian.

    • Justin

      Hey Giovanna, I’ve been one of those Americans to think/say that, and that’s with a college education and a dream of heading to Brazil! Thanks for reading and sharing your perspective!

  • Brazil , the best football in all world ? I don’t think so . At least not more . We didn’t win any World Cup since 2002 , and this year playing in home , we lost 7 x 1 …

    But the another things it’s true . We love party and all this stuffs that this article say.

  • Hello Justin,

    First of all, thank you very much for writing this text. It really made me change my point of view about what foreigners think about my country.
    I totally agree with everything you said, and I think I know a good explication for why brazilians have this “hyper paranoia” about the others opinion…

    I’m 15 years old. I live in Rio de Janeiro and I have never been in the US. My biggest dream is to live there.
    Since I was a child, almost everything that I watch in TV or listen, comes from The United States. We, South American people, have always the opinion that America is the land of freedom, the land of DREAMS. Basically because our culture is a kind of recycling of North America things. Our “standards of beauty”, for example, are something that doesn’t match with the reality, since most of brazilian women have tanned skin, dark hair and dark eyes; but, on the cover of our magazines, just appears north american models, with blue eyes and blonde hair.
    We always think that everything that comes from the USA, are a way better than what is produced in Brazil. This works for everything, since material products until arts (in general). And, when I started to grow up, and told some relatives that I wanted to live in America, they started laughin asking if I wanted to be a maid. Because “this is what latin women do there”… to not mention other things. So, I’ve heard some reports of people from South America who went there and suffered xenophobia. They wanted to live the “american dream”, but it became the american nightmare, since they worked for long periods for almost nothing, because they didn’t had the green card… and ended up deported!
    By the way, what I wanted to say, is that here in Brazil, people believe in the stereotype that every american has a prejudiced against latins, and, that if you want to live in the US, you better be ready to be discriminated. And it hurts, because when some foreigners come here, we do our best to treat the person very well. So, it kind of explain of why brazilians always think that they are inferior than americans.

    However, after reading your text I discovered that I had a ridiculous stereotype on my mind. Americans doesn’t hate brazilians, and maybe, in the future, I can be sucessful in the US. Or, at least, spend some months there and be well treated.

    Best wishes,
    Yasmin.

    • Justin

      Hey Yasmin, Thank you for that amazing comment, and it was really interesting to hear your perspective. You’re very mature for a 15 year old, and your English is really good! I think being able to speak the language and adapt to the culture will take you very far in/when you go to the United States :0) Best of luck to you!

    • Louis A. Pereira

      The USA is a land of PSEUDO feedom: Take a look at these hard facts : Until 1971 Black people could not go to the beach in Delray Beach Florida or drink water from the same fountain as whites. They could get arrested for doing that!

      in the 1960s blacks could be beaten and kiked out of the bus legally if sat in the front of the bus. Blacks could oly seat at the back of the bus.

      As of today you can be arrested for opening and drinking one can of 350 ml of beer on the streets of Boston. Even being quiete the cops will arrest you upon sighting your drinking.

      A police officer in Boston can impound your car and arrest your ass for having your eye exam expired on your license. (it amounts to an expired driver’s license)

      If you are a woman you can go to jail for showing off your breasts at Revere Beach, Mass.
      A minor girl cannot buy/pop a beer or to drink a glass of wine but can have an abortion withour her parents knowledge.

      Blacks cannot buy homes in upscale districts in New Canaan CT because the realtors won’t sale to them. This goes everywhere in the country.
      The ICe can come knock at you door at any time to investigate the validity of your marriage while applying for Immigration status through marriage.

      If you are let’s say from south america or have a brownish tan skin, usually americans will try to classify you into racially motivated categories of people. Believe me!

      Police everywhere in the country stops black motorists at a rate 5 times higher than of white folks.

      Sex is a big time taboo on American tv, shows, soap operas, discussions, all sound like Brazilian shows or refference of the seventies.. (1970s)
      Cops are predatory, they wait for you to make a mistake as to arrest/fine you.

  • I understood your viewpoint, congratulations.

  • Brazil is a nice country, people here enjoy a lot of freedom … Here not behaved weapons, mutual respect is not an obligation but a kindness, here we talk a lot with everyone, talk to strangers on the streets and do not in care much about politics, economics and not with other countries. We’re very flexible in relation to other cultures and well received foreigners in our country not because overestimate, but because we believe in people, like them, we like to make friends, especially when there is no financial or social interests involved.

    Of course, our government has taken advantage of the good faith of the people, has exploited the poverty and ignorance of some people here. But this situation is close to change.

    When in doubt, make love. – A Brazilian.

  • James D. da Silva

    Be welcome here, Justin. I think that the problem is some countries doesn´t take time enough in their elementary or high school to know the real culture of the others countries. The important is opening the own mind to know and taking informations from the co-landers whos knows the country you wish to go. Unfortunately, we have people who doesn´t care about this: Once, in 2008, a friend of mine told me when she was walking on the Ponta Negra beach, in Natal-RN, where me and her are from originally, a man asked to her if she was “free”. He thought she was a bitch. She stayed crazy and almost beated him up… rsrs… By the way, I believe this is a thing that the people will learn as time goes on. I enjoyed your article. Oh, if you still don´t know, please, go to my state Rio Grande do Norte, there´s there many beautiful beaches, Northeast foods and so much, so much wind in your face. 😉

    • Hey James, Thanks a lot for reading and commenting (and sorry for the delay). I really appreciate it. Yeah, it’s really hard to get to know all cultures and countries in the world, but the best we can do is recognize our limitations and that our perceptions are caricaturized by the media. And the story of the beach and your friend is outrageous! I would be abhorred! By the way, I’ve been to Natal and I had a great experience. The people there were extremely nice! Thanks again.

  • mrpaiva04 .

    The majority of Brazilians have Portuguese blood running through their veins, to a greater or lesser degree. Portugal is an European country. so it is safe to say that great majority of Brazilians are of European descent too — not only the people who live in the south of Brazil. If you think that only blonds are considered to be Europeans, you are wrong again, and you a serious problem understanding the people of the planet where you live.

    • Hey Mr. Paiva, Thanks for reading! Sorry, I should have said that the South of Brazil has many people of Western European descent. My bad, but thanks for bringing it to my attention. Thanks so much for reading and sharing in the comments.

  • mayl

    considering the beauty of buenos aires, and the fact that most brazilian cities look horrible… I would take it as a compliment if they thought my capital is buenos aires.

  • Helena

    Hello Justin!

    I really liked your article about the stereotypes that don’t really happen at all (well, some of these kinda do sometimes, like the spanish thing and Buenos Aires). I’m a tween from Pernambuco and I’m really curious about what do you guys thing of us and of our culture. My current dream is to make an exchange in Toronto.

    Speaking about that, one of my aunts lives in there. I travelled once for visiting her, and I introduced myself to people like this: “hey, I’m brazilian and I’m liking your country a lot, it’s so great (not really like this, of course haha)”. Well, some of the questions after I said that were: “Um, but you’re so white!” or this one, “muy hermosa!”, from a friend of hers.

    I feel kinda relieved for reading in your article that most of the “gringos” think of good things, when the word “Brazil” comes to their mind. But, infortunately, it’s not all of them 🙁

    Hope you know that I found your blog really cool, and I’ll keep reading it. I wanna know more and more about you guys culture and the life of a “gringo” here in Brazil, haha 😀

    Thanks for reading,
    Helena

    • Thanks for sharing, Helena! Sorry for my delayed response. That’s awesome about your dream to do an exchange. Toronto’s a good place for that. Hahahaha about the being so white, I made that mistake too! Unfortunately that’s the perception the media passes. Yeah, I think there are a lot of stereotypes, both good and bad in the world, but my point was that many stereotypes don’t carry negative connotation, just ignorance. I’m really glad that you like our blog! Take care.

  • Leonardo Mazzini

    Hi Justin,
    I read many of your articles it is kind of addictive to be honest lol. Congratulations, if I was an Embassador reading all of it I would try to make you have a Brazilian passport as you deserve hold it if you still don’t.
    I am brazilian, I was born and raised in the state of Rio de Janeiro in a city called Petrópolis which is a total different dimension in comparison to Rio de Janeiro City which made me very experienced and conscious even inside Brazil when I was young(moving states) about stereotypes. I used to be angry with all of those stereotypes of Cariocas usually super bad precisely speaking. But I learnt at the painful way how to change it and I saw a gate of opportunities to explain people how rich and diverse my entire state is and how proud I am to be raised there. I had to learn properly how to explain people about my state and make them see the great positive points about visiting the entire state and understanding also why Rio City is the way it is now from the insider`s point of view. All of these experiences I took inside Brazil moving in and out got me ready to practice the same in a larger scale outside of Brazil(still in South America) then outside of Latin America(in Europe) and now living in Asia.
    Now I live in Bangkok, I work for a Tour Operator and I learnt a lot about Latin America because I have a lot to teach everytime anybody asks me about anywhere in Latin America then eventually about my own country, Brazil. We, latin americans, should hear more what I just said and what all you said in your beautiful text entitled TRY THIS PERSPECTIVE from ourselves in our own languages in our local-to-local conversations to engrave it in our minds and shake our fake pillars made by fantasized realities. The issue is everybody and every nation have your own issues to deal every single day so do we and the big thing is LATIN AMERICANS must recognize and tell themselves how fantastic in many ways Latin America as a region is so full of life, super friendly people and fabulous nature.
    I wish many other Brazilians and Latin Americans can read more and more about all of these subjects because this way we will have better places to live back home.

    • Hey Leo, I really appreciate your insights and nice words. It’s cool to see you sharing your perspective here, and also reading our blog! I’m sure you have a great time explaining Rio to the world. I mean it’s such a visible, picturesque city, and now the Olympics are coming to Rio! Aww yeah! Yeah, and also glad you’ve come around to appreciate your country, language, and region. I think sometimes the only way to do that is by leaving the country and getting an outsider’s perspective. Thanks again for sharing and have a great weekend!

  • Karla Leite

    Hi Justin! I also think that the first list of stereotypes is exaggerated and that the second one is more likely to be what the world out there, in general, thinks about Brazil. However, when I was studying abroad in California, I was asked questions such as “Are there buildings and cities in Brazil?”, “Where is Brazil?”, “Do you have social media there?” (this was actually my sis who was asked in NY), “What language do you speak? Brazilian?”, and “Are you going to be sad now that you’re going back to Brazil because there is less technology there than in the U.S.?”. Therefore, I just think that maybe the Brazilians who reported the negative stereotypes listed in the article were asked similar questions or heard preconceptions (and exaggerated, of course). There was also these boy who told me (not with malice) that his perception was that Brazil is a dangerous country. I told him that it depends on the area where you go, similarly to LA. It’s not like someone is going to shoot or kidnap you as soon as you step out of your house. My roommate and I would go to the gym together and she would kid like “Karla, I want to have a Brazilian bubble butt!!!” and I would be like “What are you talking about?!? I don’t have a bubble butt!” hahaha The people who asked me those questions asked them out of innocence not with malice, but I think that one should be careful with certain questions or remarks because people may get offended…
    Something I found kinda cool is that some people would be amazed when I told them I was from Brazil. They would say things like “No kidding! Is it like in the movies???” or “You live in a beautiful country!”.
    Through my experience abroad, I concluded that some people’s perception about Brazil was based on what the media shows (a wonderful country, Amazon Rain Forest, Rio, soccer, good music, friendly people, etc.). This perception doesn’t offend me, I just get a little bit frustrated because I know that there is more about my country (for example, Brazilians are very creative, hardworking, natural makers and entrepreneurs). And I agree with you that rather than being upset, we should take advantage of opportunities to show people that our country is not only what the media shows. 🙂

    • Hey Karla, It sounds like you have a lot of experience to draw from. Definitely a lot of ignorance, and a lot of generalizations, and maybe a lot of the things mentioned are even caricatures of Rio, but in general, due to huge socioeconomic stratification, Brazil is indeed (generally) more dangerous, so I don’t think that would be wrong to say that. I’m not even going to get into the “bubble butt” part, but it’s interesting how we have caricatured ideas about the physical build of people from different places based upon what the media tells us. Thanks so much for reading and commenting and I’m sorry my delayed response!

  • santana

    Good, but seems you never heard about São Paulo, only Rio de Janeiro.
    Anyway, Brasil is like U.S, it has lot of states. In many articles like yours, it is common to read “(brazilian) people only know Orlando , Miami and New York”, this is completely bullshit bro, here have much people well informed about things.

    • Real Life English

      Hey Santana, Thanks for reading and commenting. When you say that we say “Brazilian people only know Orlando, Miami, and NY,” which article are you referring to? I need a little context to respond appropriately. Have a good day!

  • Recommend_#

    The tourism industry advertises all this directly from the popular stereotypes that people have made about Brazilians, and make a lot of (inauspiciously gained) money off of it. It’s unfortunate.

    • Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. The tourism industry perpetuates this caricature of Brazil in order to profit. As I mentioned in my comment to Willian above, I guess it’s more and more on us to educate the world about the real Brazil!

  • Good insights Willian. I completely agree! The international image of Rio is a caricature of all of Brazil. Let’s keep educating the world about the real Brazil!

  • Dan Dan

    Another article to placate the whingeing whiney Brazilians who LOVE to perpetuate stereotypes about other countries (they divide the whole world between Brazilians and Gringos FFS) but can’t handle it when generalisations are made about them.
    Want us to stop thinking that Brazil is only girls in bikinis? How about you change your own society to reflect that instead of having EVERY tv show made up of an old man in a suit surrounded by silent dancing girls in bikinis. How about in February, you objectify a naked white man for Globeleza instead of a black girl in body-paint for the 100th year in a row.
    When whiney Brazilians stop calling me European or American (Australia is in neither of those places), when they stop asking what language we speak in Australia, when they stop asking if I have a pet kangaroo, when they stop assuming that I am rich because I have blue eyes – then maybe I might give a fuck that somebody thinks the capital is Buenos Aires.
    Brazilian hypocrites? What a surprise…..

  • Dan Dan

    That’s because when you turn on the tv here in Brazil, every tv show is an old man in a suit surrounded by women in bikinis.
    Brazil is a super-machista society where women are allowed to go to the office in a mini-skirt (because female skin is pleasing to men, thus to society) but a man cannot wear shorts (or expose any part of his leg skin) even though it’s 40 degrees outside.
    Parem de hipocrisia, brasileiros!!!