Growing up in Southern California, I’ve heard my fair share of stereotypes about what it’s like living in SoCal. I’m going to set the record straight on 15 of the most common stereotypes about Southern California.
- We’re all surfers. This has to be one of the most common stereotypes about SoCal residents. Sorry to disappoint you but we don’t all know how to ride the waves and “hang ten.” I personally can’t even stand up on a board for more than 5 seconds and believe me, I’ve tried.
- We’re all vegetarian, health freaks. Just because we live in La La Land does not mean we’re all obsessed with eating healthy all the time. We don’t all live on pressed juice, tofu and acai bowls. The only bright pink food I need is frosting. And maybe cotton candy.
- We’re all obsessed with In N Out. Yes In N Out is delicious, but that doesn’t mean we Californians don’t appreciate other burger places too. My sister actually likes McDonalds’ fries better In N Out’s, and I can’t wait to try Shake Shack once I’m on the east coast.
- California is nothing but beaches. This stereotype applies to the entire state of CA and just needs to be set straight. Everybody, including people living in California, think California is all beaches and ocean, but in reality, over 50% of the state of California is farmland, another 25% is desert! So, no the beaches don’t stretch all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Nevada.
- Hollywood. I can understand why the stereotype of Hollywood being the “Land of the Stars,” is so hard to disprove. Even I believed it when I was younger. That was until I actually went to Hollywood. The illusion was quickly shattered. Hollywood is not the place to find famous people and movie stars. But if you’re looking for homeless people and weirdos dressed up in superhero costumes, then Hollywood is perfect for you!
- You see famous people EVERYWHERE. If you spend any amount of time reading the tabloids, you’d probably expect to find celebrities and movie stars walking around all over the place in Southern California buying groceries, shopping, looking fabulous while leaving the gym, etc. I’ve lived here for 18 years and I have never met a single famous person. Kim Kardashian did go to my high school, does that count?
- We’re all potheads. This fun little stereotype falls in with the assumption that we all know how to surf here in SoCal. Everybody assumes that we smoke marijuana like chimneys and spend most of the time at least a little high. This is NOT true. Yes, people smoke pot here, but NO we are not all potheads.
- We’re all blonde. If you ask anyone not from SoCal to describe someone who lives in SoCal, I guarantee you that they will mention blonde hair. May I remind you that the center of Southern California is Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in America? Not everyone here has golden locks, and many of those that do got a dye job. Just saying.
- We’re all tan. I’m Irish. I am not tan. Not even a little bit. And I am not the only person in Southern California who never gets more than a serious sunburn when trying to achieve that stereotypical sun-kissed skin tone.
- We call each other “dude” a lot. Just like we don’t all look like beach-bound suffers, we also don’t all talk like beach-bound surfers.
- We’ve never seen snow. I have been to the east coast quite a few times and every time I go, people always ask me if I have ever seen real snow. I know this might come as a shock, but we have snow in California. Really, we do. I have skied, I have been in a snowball fight, and I have even built a snowman like Ana and Elsa all without ever leaving the great Golden State.
- The weather is perfect 24/7. Everyone always says Californians have no right to complain about the weather, and they do have a point. We don’t have to deal with snowstorms, tornados or hail, but that doesn’t mean it’s 75 degrees and sunny all the time. We have mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes, and the wind in the winter always blows a few massive trees into the road, a power line and the occasional home or two.
- There are palm trees everywhere. I blame the movie industry for this one. If you watch any movie set in SoCal, they always show actors driving down the same street (Palm Drive in Beverly Hills), lined with palm trees on both sides. Palm trees are not that common. Looking out my window right now, I can only see one palm tree and it’s not even that nice.
- We’ve all had plastic surgery. I personally have never met anyone with cosmetic enhancements (so far as I know) and I know I don’t plan on ever getting any plastic surgery in the future. I don’t need to end up on “Botched” with a bad nose job.
- We all go to yoga and spin classes. ALL. THE. TIME. Plenty of SoCal residents like yoga and plenty of us like spin classes, but not all of us are obsessed with finding the best new hot-yoga studio or trying out the newest Soul Cycle class. I can barely touch my toes, and I also think a group spin class sounds absolutely terrifying.
I hope I have cleared everything up and shown you what living in Southern California is really like.