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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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A man thought it was OK to question her son's tutu. Was he ever wrong.

'I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear.'

When people ask Jen Anderson Shattuck's 3-year-old son about the sparkly tutus he likes to wear, he says they make him feel beautiful and brave.

He wisely says there are no rules about what boys can wear or what girls can wear.

Jen says people are generally pretty accepting of the tutus ... except for people like the stranger Jen and her son met a few weeks ago. Check out Jen's Facebook post below about what the man said and how she responded:


My three-and-a-half-year-old son likes to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he...

Posted by Jen Anderson Shattuck on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Here's the full text:

My three-and-a-half-year-old son likes to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he likes to wear sparkly tutus. If asked, he will say the tutus make him feel beautiful and brave. If asked, he will say there are no rules about what boys can wear or what girls can wear.

My son has worn tutus to church. He has worn tutus to the grocery store. He has worn tutus on the train and in the sandbox. It has been, in our part of the world, a non-issue. We have been asked some well-intentioned questions; we've answered them; it has been fine. It WAS fine, until yesterday.

Yesterday, on our walk to the park, my son and I were accosted by someone who demanded to know why my son was wearing a skirt. We didn't know him, but he appeared to have been watching us for some time.

"I'm just curious," the man said. "Why do you keep doing this to your son?"

He wasn't curious. He didn't want answers. He wanted to make sure we both knew that what my son was doing---what I was ALLOWING him to do---was wrong."She shouldn't keep doing this to you," he said. He spoke directly to my son. "You're a boy. She's a bad mommy. It's child abuse."

He took pictures of us, although I asked him not to; he threatened me. "Now everyone will know," he said. "You'll see."

I called the police. They came, they took their report, they complimented the skirt. Still, my son does not feel safe today. He wants to know: "Is the man coming back? The bad man? Is he going to shout more unkind things about my skirt? Is he going to take more pictures?"

I can't say for sure. But I can say this: I will not be intimidated. I will not be made to feel vulnerable or afraid. I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear.

The world may not love my son for who he is, but I do. I was put on this earth to make sure he knows it.

I will shout my love from street corners.

I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear.

I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices---no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often.

Our family has a motto. The motto is this:

We are loving.

We are kind.

We are determined and persistent.

We are beautiful and brave.

We know who we are. Angry strangers will not change who we are. The world will not change who we are---we will change the world.

































Jen's Facebook post has been met with an outpouring of support since she posted her story.

It's been shared over 51,000 times, and the comments have been empowering and supportive overall. Sure, there will always be haters. And yes, tutus are frilly, sparkly garments often associated with girls and princesses, sugar and spice and everything nice. But is there a rule that says boys can't also love those things? Nope.

Jen's not alone in her open-minded approach to her kid's self-expression. Charlize Theron was recently criticized after her son was photographed dressed as Elsa from "Frozen," but she supported his choices just like Jen did.

Kudos to Jen (and other parents like her!) for encouraging this awesome display of self-expression. And kudos to her young son for not letting small-minded people get in the way of his desire to express himself!

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Woman refuses to change seats for mom and kids

Traveling with preteens and teens is a breeze in comparison to traveling with little ones but as a parent you still want to sit near your kiddos in case they need you for anything. If you've traveled on an airline in the last several years, you know it's much cheaper to chose the basic seats in the main cabin.

There's nothing different about these particular seats other than the airline sort of randomly selects your seat and if you're traveling alone, that's really not a bad deal. The risk gets to be a little higher if you're traveling with a party that you'd like to keep together - like your children. One mom took the risk and banked on a stranger accommodating...that's not quite how it played out.


People sit in the wrong seats on planes all the time, usually because they read their ticket wrong or accidentally sit one row ahead. Takes no time to double check your ticket and move along, but when Tammy Nelson did a double take at her ticket after seeing the mom in her window seat, she realized she wasn't mistakenly staring at the wrong row.

This mom boarded the plane with her older children and had taken it upon herself to sit in the same row as her children, essentially commandeering a stranger's seat. Nelson assumed it was a mistake and informed the woman that the seat was in fact hers but the response she received was surprising.

"She said, 'Oh, you want to sit here?'," Nelson tells Good Morning America. "She said, 'Oh, well I just thought I could switch with you because these are my kids.'"

That's an interesting assumption when seats are assigned and many people, like Nelson, pay extra to have the seat they prefer. Now, there's no telling if funds were tight and this was an unplanned trip for the mom and kids which caused her to buy the more budget friendly tickets or if she was simply being frugal and was banking on the kindness of a stranger.

Either way, Nelson specifically paid for a window seat due to motion sickness and though she paid extra, she was willing to sit in the other row if that seat was also a window seat. But it turns out, it was a middle seat.

Surely there's someone out there that loves the middle seat. Maybe a cold natured person that enjoys the body heat of two strangers sitting uncomfortably close. Or perhaps someone that doesn't mind accidentally sleeping on an unsuspecting passenger's shoulder. But that person isn't Nelson, so when the middle seat was offered in exchange for her bought and paid for window seat, she politely but sternly declined.

@myconquering

Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. 🤷‍♀️ Before anyone comes after me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us. The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman actually defended me – several times. It was so kind and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling really guilty. 🤦‍♀️ ##airplaneseat##seatswitching##airplanekarens

Her refusal to give in to the mom's seemingly entitled request for Nelson's seat has resulted in parents and child-fee people cheering her on after she posted the details on her TikTok page, MyCONQUERing. The video has over 3.4 million views.

"Nope. If it's not an upgrade it's a sacrifice," a commenter writes.

"You did the RIGHT thing. Folks need to plan their travel together. Lack of planning on their part does not constitute an inconvenience on yours," one person says.

"I have 3 kids and have sat in different rows when they were passed toddler age. I agree, book your flight earlier," another writes.

"You were right. As a woman with 3 children, I always pay extra so we're sat together," another mom says.

Nelson is also a mom so she knows how important it is to sit next to kids on flights. But since airlines have made that a luxury, as the parent, you have to plan to pay extra or accept that you likely won't be seated next to your children. Hopefully in the future, this unnamed mom is seated next to her children or pays extra to make sure it happens. In the meantime, people continue to support Nelson standing her ground.

This article originally appeared on 7.28.23

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Pop Culture

Simone Biles debunks misconceptions and assumptions about elite gymnasts

"I'm actually not very competitive at all…my goal is never to win—it just kind of happens."

Simone Biles sets the record straight on gymnastics myths.

Gymnastics is a somewhat unique sport in that the distance between the athletes at the top and the average person is far greater than in many other sports. Most people can run, just not as fast as Usain Bolt. Most people can dribble a ball and make some baskets, just not as well as Steph Curry. Most people can swim, but not nearly as well as Katie Ledecky.

But most people can't do a single flip on a balance beam or swing themselves over a bar once or do even the most basic gymnastics tumbling pass on the floor. Forget about the average person trying to fling themselves over a vault, much less do what Simone Biles or other elite gymnasts can do in any of those events.

Since few are able to do gymnastics at all and even fewer compete at the Olympic level, elite gymnasts are a curiosity for many. To help satisfy that curiosity, Simone Biles sat down with Glamour in 2021 and responded to some of the misconceptions and assumptions people have about top level gymnasts.


Biles, who will be competing with Team USA again in the 2024 Paris Olympic games, broke down the misconceptions into three categories: Sport, Lifestyle and Physique. Here are some highlights from her responses:

"Gymnastics is not a sport."

Umm, what? Biles said she hears this a lot, but pointed out that "every four years, everybody tunes in to watch gymnastics, so it's gotta be a sport at least."

Then she pointed out what makes it not only a sport, but one of the hardest sports in the world. "It's all sports combined in one," she said. "You can't just be fast, you have to have agility, you have to be able to jump, you have to be able to flip, memorize routines—it's kind of all-in-one."

"Gymnasts retire at an early age and have a short career."

At 27, Biles herself has defied the standard retirement age of elite gymnasts, so she may not be the one to come at with this. She pointed out that a lot of gymnasts get college scholarships and then retire around 22 or 23.

"You have to be rich to get into the sport, lessons are expensive."

Biles confirmed, "It is actually a very expensive sport. And it's also year-long. We don't have a season and then you can take a break. And you kind of have to train your whole life for it. So yes, it does get to be expensive.

"You can't start gymnastics later in life."

Biles shared that she started when she was almost 7, which is "late" in the elite gymnastics world. "Usually you start in 'mommy and me' classes or as soon as you can walk," she said.

"You can't be afraid of heights as a gymnast."

"You actually can," said Biles, 'but it doesn't affect you in the gym when you're flipping because you don't notice how high you are, so I feel like that one's sort of a myth." She added that her fear isn't a fear of falling from high up but a fear that she's going to jump from someplace high up. "I don't want to die, I just want to jump off," she said.

"They're not very nice and super competitive in all aspects of life."

"I'm actually not very competitive at all," Biles said. "In a gym or in a competition, my goal is never to win, it just kind of happens. But I also feel like whenever you're at the top everybody preys on your downfall, which is really strange to me."

She shared that her sister did gymnastics until she was around 17. While she was really good, she decided to quit because of the pressure and everyone compared her to her sister. When she would win competitions, people thought it wasn't fair that both sisters would win all the time, and she had enough of it.

"I feel like people also think gymnasts are really mean because most of the time we're so serious you don't get to see our personality," she added.

"All work and no play."

"Yes and no, I guess we can play after work," she said. "I've learned that I have to fuel myself outside of the gym too, whether that's hanging out with family, friends, going shopping or doing whatever. I still have to be happy at the end of the day without gymnastics."

"They have to wake up at 4:00 a.m."

"I don't wake up at 4:00 a.m. I wake up at like 6:15 just because we start practice at 7:00," she said, adding, "If I had to wake up at 4:00 I wouldn't go to the gym."

"They don't have time to take care of their mental health."

Biles shared that she goes to therapy. "I think it should be talked about a lot more, because it's not something to be ashamed or afraid of," she said. "Everybody has something that works for them and that's what I just found works for me."

"They have body image issues."

"I feel like that's not a misconception about gymnasts, I feel like that's everybody in general. Everybody struggles with body image issues, wanting to look different, thinking you're not skinny. I feel like that's everybody in life."

"You have to have a certain body type to do gymnastics."

"Back in the day, everybody had a more slim body and was really flexible and skinny," Biles said. "But now, you can be a little bit shorter and more powerful like me. So, I definitely think it's evolved. So I think that's false, as well."

"I feel like whatever your body type is you just have to be in shape to do gymnastics," she added. "I think it's different now. Everybody thought bar swingers were a little bit taller, leaner. And then if you're a tumbler, you're a little bit shorter and thicker. But now, it's been proven that you can kind of have both body types and do all of it. So, it's doesn't really make a difference anymore."

"They're very flexible."

"No, not all gymnast are flexible," said Biles. "Me and Aly Raisman, we're actually not that flexible for gymnasts because our muscles kind of overlap that. But, we're flexible enough to do what we have to do."

Watch the full video on Glamour's YouTube channel.

Health

Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It seems like most people are feeling wiped out these days. There's a reason for that.

We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

But why?



Psychologist and speaker Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling as we close out 2022, and it makes perfect sense.

In a post on Facebook, she wrote:

"A gentle reminder about why you are utterly exhausted…

No one I know began this year on a full tank. Given the vicious onslaught of the previous two years (let’s just call it what it was) most of us dragged ourselves across the finish line of 2021… frazzled, spent, running on aged adrenaline fumes…

We crawled into 2022 still carrying shock, trauma, grief, heaviness, disbelief… The memories of a surreal existence…

And then it began… The fastest hurricane year we could ever have imagined. Whether we have consciously processed it or not, this has been a year of more pressure, more stress, and a race to 'catch up' in all departments… Every. Single. One. Work, school, sports, relationships, life…

Though not intentionally aware, perhaps hopeful that the busier we are, the more readily we will forget… the more easily we will undo the emotional tangle… the more permanently we will wipe away the scarring wounds…

We can’t.

And attempts to re-create some semblance of 'normal' on steroids while disregarding that for almost two years our sympathetic nervous systems were on full alert, has left our collective mental health in tatters. Our children and teens are not exempt. The natural byproduct of fighting a hurricane is complete and utter exhaustion…

So before you begin questioning the absolutely depleted and wrung-dry state you are in- Pause. Breathe. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have endured. And then remind yourself of what you have overcome.

Despite it all, you’re still going. (Even on the days you stumble and find yourself face down in a pile of dirt).

Understanding brings compassion… Most of the world’s citizens are in need of a little extra TLC at the moment. Most are donning invisible 'Handle with care' posters around their necks and 'Fragile' tattoos on their bodies…

Instead of racing to the finish line of this year, tread gently.

Go slowly. Amidst the chaos, find small pockets of silence. Find compassion. Allow the healing. And most of all… Be kind. There’s no human being on earth who couldn’t use just a little bit more of the healing salve of kindness."

Putting it like that, of course we're exhausted. We're like a person who thinks they're feeling better at the end of an illness so they dive fully back into life, only to crash mid-day because their body didn't actually have as much energy as their brain thought it did. We tried to fling ourselves into life, desperate to feel normal and make up for lost time, without taking the time to fully acknowledge the impact of the past two years or to fully recover and heal from it.

Of course, life can't just stop, but we do need to allow some time for our bodies, minds and spirits to heal from what they've been through. The uncertainty, the precariousness of "normal," the after-effects of everything that upended life as we knew it are real. The grief and trauma of those who have experienced the worst of the pandemic are real. The overwhelm of our brains and hearts as we try to process it all is real.

So let's be gentle with one another and ourselves as we roll our harried selves into another new year. We could all use that little extra measure of grace as we strive to figure out what a true and healthy "normal" feels like.

You can follow Naomi Holdt on Facebook.


This article originally appeared on 12.23.22

Ryan Reynolds at the "Deadpool 2" premiere in Japan.

“Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds shared a fascinating take on anxiety and parenting in an interview he did with Hugh Jackman for PEOPLE. He believes that instead of making it harder to be a parent, it’s made him more compassionate and present in the lives of his children.

Reynolds and actor Blake Lively have 4 children: James, 9, Inez, 7, and Betty, 4. They welcomed a fourth child in 2023, whose name and gender haven’t been revealed. Back in 2022, he told CBS News he had struggled with anxiety “my whole life.”

“Oh mate, you’ve been pretty open with your anxiety struggles, which I really applaud you for,” Jackman told Reynolds in the PEOPLE interview. “Do you find being a dad makes it better or worse?”

Reynolds said it makes him a better parent because he can relate to their anxious moments and respond compassionately.


“Now I love that I have anxiety, I love that I’ve had anxiety,” Reynolds said. “Because when I see my kids experiencing some of that—which is probably genetic—I know how to address it in a way that is compassionate, that actually allows them to feel seen in that anxiety. I know that I can’t just fix it. And I can communicate all that stuff to them and with them. So, I’m always kinda grateful for it.”

Ryan Reynolds & Hugh Jackman Interview Each Other | PEOPLEyoutu.be

He also said that parents need to share not just their wins but also their losses in life.

“I think Sean Levy actually told me something that stuck with me forever; its that people only talk about their wins, but I think it's really important for your kids in particular to know that you lose,” he shared. “You don’t get what you want all the time; something you worked on really hard didn’t work; you said something embarrassing today; you did something that didn’t sit right with you. It’s so important that they see that and they don’t just hear about ‘Oh dad nailed it,’ because you lose so much more than you win.”



For Reynolds, parenting is all about teaching through example.

"Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it's like to be sad and model what it's like to be anxious or angry. That there's space for all these things," he told PEOPLE in 2021. "The home that I grew in, that wasn't modeled for me really. And that's not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation."

Back in 2023, Reynolds talked publicly about his struggles with anxiety, saying that now and then, he feels like he’s spinning “out of control.” He added that he uses meditation to “take time” for himself.

Reynolds’ story shows that even though he has anxiety, he's turned it into a positive by using his struggles to enrich the lives of others. The pain of anxiety has taught him a valuable lesson in compassion that he can pass on to his children.

American sales people making deals happen.

Americans are known as some of the best salespeople in the world. The country has been the home of some of the most influential business communicators of all time, like Steve Jobs of Apple or filmmaker Walt Disney. America is also the birthplace of people who became legends for their ability to excite people with their incredible, audacious promotional skills, such as P.T. Barnum or Muhammad Ali.

There’s also a dark side to the uniquely American gift of gab. Americans have the reputation of being masters of BS. Hunter S. Thompson, a writer with a fondness for exaggeration, once referred to America as a “nation of 220 million used car salesmen.”

An X user named Alz, born in Hong Kong, was curious about why Americans are so great at sales, presenting ideas, and (less favorably) BS-ing than people in other countries. The tweet went viral, receiving over 1.4 million views. Nearly everyone agreed that Americans are the world's best salespeople, but there were many different answers to why.


“Why are Americans, on average, so incredibly good at presenting/selling/ (you could uncharitably call it) BS-ing? Is it something about early/middle/high school education? Culture? Parents teaching their kids?” Alz asked.

“I troll, but this is an incredibly important skill, and for some reason observationally, America, which has an early education system few are generally jealous of, seems to systematically produce ppl with a much higher distribution of presentation ability than anywhere else,” Alz continued.

Some respondents believe Americans are great at sales because so many work in the service sector. Over the past 50 years, globalization has altered the labor landscape, with many jobs moving from manufacturing to the service sector. Thus, Americans have learned to place a significant value on those who can communicate one-on-one, such as people who work in hospitality, retail, or personal training.

Others believe Americans have the gift of gab because its education system highly values communication skills, which are favorable in the business world. However, some believe this emphasis comes at the expense of STEM skills, which are seen as more important in other countries.

Many people think Americans are great communicators because it's crucial to be able to sell and persuade in a competitive, free-market capitalist system. If you aren’t able to sell the goods and services you provide and produce, then it doesn’t matter if you’re in business at all. Further, American business culture is also seen as more relationship-based than in other countries, where buying and selling is merely transactional.

It could be that it’s all part of a culture that values openness and confidence which bleeds over into other aspects of American life. Persuasion and sales come a lot more naturally to people who've been raised with zero fear of calling attention to themselves. Outside the business world, Americans are also seen as friendly in social situations and have no problem engaging in small talk with strangers. Americans’ extroverted nature can sometimes shock people who travel to the U.S. on vacation.

Or, it could be that Americans just have a ‘rizz that’s the envy of the world.