10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

10 Stereotypes Of Vermonters

Don't ask for fake maple syrup unless you want to get thrown out into the snow.
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Vermont is a unique state that has developed very specific stereotypes over the years. Some say we are basically Canada, others say: “Vermont? Where in New York is that?” Despite our small size, Vermont has a lot of heart and is full of stubborn, lovable, passionate people. The stereotypes often associated with our state vary in their accuracy, and here is a list of the most popular ones.

1. Worship Bernie Sanders.

We certainly love our senator who is running for president right now, but not everyone who lives here is a diehard liberal “feeling the bern.” Bernie followers tend to be louder and more public about their support, while Republican Vermonters keep more to themselves about political views. For those of us who love Bernie, we are so proud of the messages he is spreading and feel as though our voices are finally being heard. It's exciting and we are not afraid to show our support.

2. Real maple syrup or no maple syrup.

Maple syrup is a staple in the majority of Vermonters’ lives. Any stereotype about how much we love our syrup tends to be accurate. I’ve visited many sugar houses and refuse to even look at the fake, watery syrup on grocery shelves next to my beloved Grade B Vermont maple syrup. You can put it on anything: pancakes, oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, barbecue, snow, and more. The possibilities are endless.

3. Hippies.

If by hippies, you mean we are calm, open people who just want peace for the world, then yes we are hippies. If by hippies, you mean we smoke marijuana, wear peace sign glasses, and listen to vinyl records, then yes some of us are hippies. If the worst generalization you can make about us is we are the type of people who put flowers in guns or use recycled bottles to create indoor gardens, we will accept that and are probably already doing it.

4. Hate outsiders.

In general, I find that outsiders either experience the kind, welcoming Vermonter or the rough Vermonter who hates tourists. Both of these views are true depending on the situation. Vermonters don’t particularly like when flatlanders are driving 10 miles per hour down the road to stare at our mountains, but if we see you in a store trying to figure out a map we will certainly stop to help. Every state will have friendly and mean people, it just depends on who you run into on a given day.

5. Friends with cows.

It’s true that you can start at almost any house in Vermont, drive a couple miles, and come across a field of cows munching on some grass. Not everyone gets up close and personal with those cows, but a love of animals is present in most Vermonters’ hearts. Cows are just so goofy and sweet, so how can you not love them?

6. Indifferent to the cold.

This stereotype is both true and untrue. A lot of Vermonters take pleasure in proving their ruggedness by wearing minimal clothing and criticizing those who think it’s a bit chilly outside. Then there are the more sane Vermonters, who know when the time has come to put on a parka and scarf. We still probably won’t point out the cold though because then everyone would just be complaining constantly for five months and nothing would get done.

7. Wear lots of flannel.


This varies a lot based on each person’s fashion choices, but I find that most people I know at least own a flannel, if not wear it frequently. The Vermont Flannel Company has everything from blankets to thongs, so it is hard to resist buying some of that warm material for the harsh winter months.

8. Only drink craft beer.

Brewing craft beer would be Vermont’s hobby if the state were a person. There are many people who make a living out of it, and they take pride in their work. Heady Topper is particularly popular and can be hard to get your hands on. The brewing company responsible for it, the Alchemist, releases it in waves and as soon as it reaches stores Vermonters go crazy buying it all. If you want the Vermont beer experience without all the hassle, I would recommend grabbing some Long Trails or a Switchback and relax as everyone else scrambles to purchase the last six-pack of their favorite microbrew.

9. See moose every day in the backyard.

It’s true that wildlife pops up everywhere in Vermont. I see a lot of foxes, rabbits, deer, and raccoons around my house, but moose are actually fairly rare. I’ve lived in Vermont for 20 years and have yet to spot one, but on the other hand my friend watched a moose chase her dog down the street one time. It depends on how lucky you get and where in the state you live. Don’t worry, her dog made it home safely.

10. Eat only Ben & Jerry’s and cheese.

This is spot on and don’t you for a second think we eat anything other than Cherry Garcia and Cabot Cheddar Extra Sharp.

I think it is safe to say most Vermont stereotypes are accurate. We are very clear on our opinions of maple syrup and winter. I love my state and hope that tourists and visitors can truly appreciate all we have to offer. Don’t underestimate us because of our size. Someday we will take over the world, and when that day comes we will live on a peaceful, sustainable planet. Until then, we will be up here in the northeast hanging out with Canada and trying to convince New Hampshire to merge into one big Super Vermont.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cheapmovingcompanies.co/vermont/

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Terrors Behind "Toddlers & Tiaras" - Beauty Pageants Need To Go!

Why Honey Boo Boo is not the girl we should be idolizing...

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Honey Boo Boo is famous for her extravagant persona, extreme temper tantrums, overwhelming attitude, and intense sassiness. All of these qualities are shared by many other young girls who participate in beauty pageants - not just in "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" but also in TLC's notorious "Toddlers & Tiaras," a show that depicts the horrors of little girls who have dedicated their childhood to winning the crown.

These shows, and the pageants they glorify do nothing but force girls to grow up too quickly, send negative messages to viewers and participants and pose health risks for the girls involved.

Therefore, beauty pageants for young girls should be abolished.

The hypersexualization that takes place in these pageants is staggering. Not only are young girls' minds molded into having a superficial view on beauty, but they are also waxed, spray-tanned, given wigs, retouched in pictures, injected with Botox and fillers, and painted with fake abs and even breasts.

Sexy is the goal, not cute. Girls of ages 2-12 wear skimpy clothing, accentuating only their underdeveloped bodies. A 4-year-old girl on "Toddlers and Tiaras" once impersonated Dolly Parton with fake breasts, another dressed as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (so basically, a prostitute), and another even pretended to smoke a cigarette to look like Sandy from Grease.

In Venezuela, people are so obsessed with pageants that they send their daughters to "Miss Factories," to train them to win. At these factories, underage girls undergo plastic surgery and hormone therapy to delay puberty in attempts to grow taller. In addition, they often get mesh sewn onto their tongues so that they are physically incapable of eating solid food. This idea of taking horrific measures to look slimmer is not unique to Venezuela. A former Miss USA explained that she would "slather on hemorrhoid ointment, wrap herself up with Saran wrap, and run on a treadmill with an incline for 30 minutes to tighten her skin and waist up." Many countries, including France and Israel have banned child beauty pageants because it is "hypersexualizing." Why has the US yet to follow in their footsteps?

Additionally, the pageants strip their young contestants of a childhood by basically putting them through harsh child labor. Oftentimes, girls as young as 18 months old participate in pageants. There is no way that a girl under 2 years old has the capacity to decide for herself that she wants to participate in a beauty pageant. Not to mention, education often takes a backseat in pageant girls' lives as long practice sessions interfere with sleep and homework. This causes long-term distress for the contestants, including widespread unemployment for former pageant girls.

Moreover, these pageants tie self-worth and self-esteem to attractiveness. They teach girls that natural beauty and intelligence are not enough, when in actuality they should be doing the opposite. In fact, 72% of pageant girls hire coaches to train girls to be more "attractive."

Finally, these pageants pose potent health risks for the girls competing. Not only do intense rehearsals interfere with their sleep cycles, but they are also impacted by the harmful methods taken to keep them awake. One example is Honey Boo Boo's "go go juice" - AKA a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull. She is known for drinking this continuously throughout pageant days to stay awake and energetic - but the health risks associated with the drinks, let alone for such a young girl, are completely ignored.

And, the future health problems associated with pageantry cannot be looked past. Participating in beauty pageants as kids leads to eating disorders, perfectionism, depression - in fact, at least 6% suffer from depression while competing. "The Princess Syndrome," as Psychology Today calls it relates to a small study published in 2005 that showed that former childhood beauty pageant contestants had higher rates of body dissatisfaction. This sense of dissatisfaction can so easily be translated to more severe mental and physical health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The average BMI (Body Mass Index) of a Beauty Contestant in the US in 1930 was 20.8, which is universally in the middle of the "healthy" range. In 2010, it was 16.9, which is considered underweight for anyone.

So, despite the entertainment these shows and pageants provide, they should most definitely be stopped due to the immense amount of issues they cause for those involved and those who watch.

Although Honey Boo Boo is (sadly) considered one of America's sweethearts, her experience in pageantry has certainly not been a positive influence in her life nor in the lives of her fans - and this is the case for nearly all young pageant girls.

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