Photo by Ben Raynal

1. We will do anything to emigrate.

If you think that we’re all about to jump in a box and get shipped from Hungary to New York for a chance at a ‘better life’, think twice. Though many of us love to travel and seek the best place for personal realization, we often can find that in our own countries, thank you very much.

2. We are cold and emotionless.

The farther east you go, crossing the Slovakian border and entering into the Balkans, the more unpredictable, sincere emotion you’ll most likely witness. We may slap you then tell you that that we love you within 5 minutes; at least you’ll always know how we feel.

3. We can’t function without a man.

Hate to disappoint you boys, but we get shit done. On our own. Historically, Eastern European women would get up before dawn to prepare breakfast for the entire family and clean the house – us modern ladies wake up at sunrise to hit the gym, catch up on e-mail and head out to be a total boss at work. We occasionally chop wood, too.

4. We are all blonde, skinny and obsessed with our looks.

Only about half of us are naturally blonde, and blue eyes aren’t so easy to come by. Hell, even our rock stars of the fashion world, Natalia Vodianova, Petra Nemcova and Milla Jovovich defy this supposed ‘norm.’ In general, we love to experiment with our looks but aren’t any more concerned about them than the average Western woman.

5. We wear a clownish amount of makeup.

Are you picturing an absurdly dark smoky eye with blue eye shadow and red lipstick? No way. Most of us stick to basic mascara, a little blush and lip balm. We’ve taken a lesson or two from Nina Dobrev, the beautiful actress of 100% Bulgarian heritage.

6. We’re all gold-diggers.

I hate to break it to you, but looking for a rich husband has nothing to do with culture – ahem, Anna Nicole Smith. As an Eastern European woman, I’ve dated more than one guy who’ve had less money than me, (one even living in his mom’s attic during the ‘08 financial crisis), so don’t be hasty to equate national origin and personal values.

7. We turn into babushka’s once we hit 50.

A quick Google search of “Russian women” pulls gems like this up: “Russian women go from impossibly hot supermodels to shriveled-up crones over an absurdly short period of time.”

Are you kidding me? With the amount of exercise and nutritional care that most of us put in, most of us age pretty darned gracefully. My grandmother is 67 and still weighs exactly the same 120lbs that she did 20 years ago.

8. We have zero intelligence.

How many Eastern European women does it take to replace a light bulb? Two, actually. One to get down to the mechanics and another one to let you know what an ignorant assh*le you are for even asking. We’ve got a ton of smart ladies, from Brainpickings founder Maria Popova, to Jaanika Merilo, the advisor to the Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development and Romania’s Ana Aslan, the biologist heading the Geriatric Institute.

9. We’ve never worked a day in our lives.

I get frustrated when people ask me how I afford to travel or have nice things. “Do you have rich parents? A boyfriend? A ‘sponsor’?” Like most of my girlfriends, I work A LOT, and that’s the only way I afford to take a trip to LA for a week or spend 2 weeks in Istanbul.

10. We’re willing to suffer for fashion.

Long gone are the days when we wore stilettos for no reason. It’s sports brands like Nike and Converse that rule now, coupled with comfortable ballet flats. The sky-high heels come out only for special occasions (like when Brad Pitt comes through town).

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