the ugly American (slang)
that particular type of common American whose life is centered on consumerist values and often a patriotic concept of homeland superiority or upper class superiority with little or only subjective regard for global socio-ethnic diversity. This would be just one approximate definition that may or may not be wholly true to the original one. The ugly American is typically a middle to upper class person who perceives people of lower economic achievement as inferior even if they deny such sentiment by means of politically correct lip service. The ugly American is often condescending toward struggling foreigners, laborers and people with dented automobiles. He/she may regard theirself as cosmopolitan by virtue of traveling to Egypt and spending money on tourist acouterments and flea market collectibles while forming nary a single eye-to-eye relationship with any of the common persons they encounter. But more to the point, an American who takes a snobbish view to others, treating them like indentured servants could be called "the ugly American."

The ugly American is anathema to deeper cosmopolitan artistic and philosophical values within global art, fashion, photography, literature and the whole shebang. Thus where matters of international or even domestic social relations are concerned, the ideal value for the "better off" is to live with a genuine sense of membership with lower socio-economic classes, foreigners and laborers, giving not only your philanthropic cash but also your time and useful friendship.

There is great significance to the ugly American where lifestyle images are portrayed. Madison Avenue feverishly promoted snobbish upper to middle class values by the 1990s in the marketing of fashions, automobiles, perfumes, and just about everything else. Of course this trend was well underway by the late 1950s in a more benign way. And elements of the ugly American existed in the lifestyle fabric of the 1920s and prior epochs. It is noteworthy that many Americans would not have a clue what I am talking about. Even the lower classes have assumed the position, often giving lip service to "ugly American" values and believing in their oppressors wholeheartedly. The ugly American value system is largely a direct descendent of British colonialism.

See also: cosmopolitan

The term "ugly American", we believe, may have been coined as the title of a book decades ago before it bacame part of the social vernacular. We, being a bit iggnerent on the origin, may look into it later.

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