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Stereotypes

June 13, 2014

BELOW, one of our people reveals the limits of a stereotype. Re-posted from the unlikeliest of forums: Yahoo Answers.


mayonnaiseACTUALLY, it is an old stereotype: “white people eat white bread, mayonnaise, and American cheese (or Velveeta).” I’ve heard it from my husband’s relatives, who apply it exclusively to WASPs like me — so it’s not a stereotype of whites (not of Italians or Hispanics, for example) in general but rather of a certain type of white — a person of Anglo-Saxon heritage who supposedly loves to drink alcohol but never serves any food at social events, like weddings.

In fact, it’s all ridiculous.

The mayonnaise thing is particularly ridiculous, since plenty of white Europeans — Catholic French and Italians, Catholic and Protestant Germans, eastern European Jews — have always loved mayonnaise. The difference is that they have always made their own; they’ve never eaten Hellmann’s or (God forbid) anything like Miracle Whip. I grew up in a WASP family, but our mayonnaise was always homemade, according to a French recipe passed down by a great-great grandmother, and my parents sneered at commercially produced white bread. And Velveeta would never have been allowed over the threshold.

As usual, generalizations like these reveal far more about the limited intelligence, experience, and sophistication of the people who make them than about the targets of them.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Keller permalink
    June 25, 2014 6:55 pm

    Agreed! We never ate”store” mayonnaise and our bread was made at home by mummy. Velveeta was not something I had ever heard of until college.

  2. July 1, 2014 12:59 pm

    Velveeta was something to use a bait for fishing with school friends, NEVER to actually consume it ourselves.

  3. John I permalink
    July 15, 2014 9:17 am

    Oh Valveeta – an abomination.

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