American Identity: a Buffet of Culture

Topics: United States, Melting pot, Ethnic group Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: December 13, 2006
America: a Buffet of Cultures
Yes, it is known as the land of the free, but how would one define the people of America? Due to their extreme diversity, this assortment of immigrants used to be known as the "melting pot", but today that is argued to be an incorrect label.

For over a century, immigrants have arrived on our shores with the goal of quickly assimilating into the U.S. culture. Family names were often changed to be more "American" and parents insisted that only English be spoken in the home. As of recently, this is no longer the case. According to Ruth Krinke, Chair of the 2006 NAR International Operations Committee, "U.S. immigrants no longer with to assimilate into a blended culture. Most of today's immigrants-whether legal or illegal –wish to maintain their own cultural identities within the melting pot. The very concept of the blended culture, therefore, has begun to evaporate." Many now alternatively consider the United States a buffet of cultures or a salad of distinct vegetables, where the dressing is what holds us together.

Not only are people identifying more with their own ethnicity than one new blended society, but looking ethnically ambiguous is rapidly becoming popular, especially in the world of entertainment. Editor in chief of fashion magazine Allure, Linda Wells, states that "Five years ago, about 80 percent of our covers featured fair-haired blue-eyed women, even though they represented a minority… Today such covers are a rarity… Uniformity just isn't appealing anymore." There is a growing sense that the demand is weakening for blond-haired, blue-eyed models. Ad campaigns for Louis Vuitton, YSL Beauty and H&M have all purposely highlighted models with racially distinctive features. "People think blond-haired, blue-eyed kids are getting all the work, but these days they are working the least,"2 says Elise Koseff, vice president of J. Mitchell Management in New York, which represents children and teenagers for ads and television....
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