10 Ways You'll Be Stereotyped for Living in Los Angeles

Los Angeles
by Pamela Chan Nov 29, 2016

1. We’re all airheads.

Excuse me, but you’ve heard of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), right? You’ve also heard of CalTech and SpaceX, yes? That’s right, they’re those peeps who just landed a rocket on a platform in the ocean, that continue to revolutionize space technology, and that are headquartered in Hawthorne, a city in southwestern Los Angeles.

Plus, there’s a good reason why a significant portion of the Westside has been deemed “Silicon Beach,” as more than half a thousand tech-savvy companies have put up shop here, including Google, YouTube, Yahoo, and Facebook. Take that.

2. We’re all living in La-La Land.

Sure, the city’s got an all-around laidback, carefree, and totally ‘lax attitude, but that doesn’t mean that everyone speaks slower, has got less urgency, and has nothing better to do than to lay out by the pool all day with a margarita in hand. The constant sunlight, blue skies, and cotton candy clouds have just trained us to be better at chilling out than the rest of the world.

If compared to those in Boston or the Big Apple, we’re definitely less pretentious though — and that’s because we don’t let high society pressure get us down. Angelenos understand that life is too short and way too beautiful to spend time worrying about nonsensical matters. We really just don’t give a damn. We’ve even gotten in the habit of taking time out each day to actually smell the roses. And really, there are tons of roses, flowers, and pretty little things all over town to enjoy.

3. We’re all health nuts.

By the time you’ve spent about half an hour in L.A., you’ll probably have encountered a few vegans, a couple vegetarians, at least one gluten-free yoga instructor, and perhaps another person finishing up some sort of organic cleanse. Yes, Angelenos are famous for their super picky eating, their rainbow array of crazy diets, and for constantly coupling words together like kale with salad, low with carb, animal with free, locally with sourced, and so on and so forth. You get the gist.

Still, it needs to be said that there are still large swaths of this fine city that do not know exactly what the Paleo diet is. And every once in a while, we still do enjoy guilty pleasures like the icing on a carrot cake, the animal fries at In-N-Out, the sweet drizzle in an acai bowl, or the lightly crusted roll of a classic French dip sandwich. As the top producer of avocados, broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes in the country, we just happen to take health super seriously. Hence, the steady rise of vegan ice cream parlors. Yum.

4. We’re all flakes.

Unfortunate but pretty much oh-so-true. If the proper definition of a “flake” is being fashionably late to almost everything, making only half the appointments that were initially scheduled, or hollering excitedly, “Yo, let’s do lunch sometime,” when what’s really meant is, “I’ll most likely never see you again”, then well, we’re kinda sorta guilty of this one. Sorry, not sorry.

5. We’re all oh-so-VAIN.

When you’ve dwelled in this city for long enough, it’s hard to not be a tad overly concerned with your appearance. Just try strolling down La Brea or Melrose Ave. without feeling insecure, or standing in line at the grocery store staring at the shiny copies of Cosmo that add even more to your unhealthy body image obsession. What’s more is that as of 2010, there were reportedly a couple hundred plastic surgeons per 100,000 people in the 90210 alone, and sadly, there really is something like a “Faux-European shopping alley” somewhere in the city. Like it or not, pure adoration for glitz and glam has graced L.A for longer than most of us can remember. A good majority of the population dutifully follows along in all the latest in trends from attire and electronics to home furnishings and automobiles. Brand-names and designer-wear run aplenty all across town and yes, we’re all overly into upkeep and maintenance.

Yet, as vain (and vapid) as L.A. might seem to be, it’s really all just white noise. Not everybody goes to the spa every day or has got themselves a personal trainer on call. Being fab, fit, friendly, and totally good-looking may be what’s on our minds, but the city– as well as its inhabitants– has got its fair share of class, charisma, and culture as well. Think spots like LACMA, the Getty Center, the Natural History Museum, or the cutting edge productions at Deaf West Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse, or Sacred Fools Theater Company. Opera, music fests, world-class architecture, public gardens, art walks, snazzy used bookstores, and internationally-renowned libraries are also abound all around town. Beauty and brains can, in fact, go together so don’t judge.

6. We’re all cuckoo for coffee.

Considering all that warm weather year-round, most people wouldn’t think that L.A. could be such a coffee-crazed city. Well, we hate to break it to you, but for many Angelenos, that piping hot cup of Joe is the only reason to get up come morning time.
Los Angeles ranks fifth for coffee consumption in the country, and as of right now, there are just about a dozen coffee shops per every 100,000 residents. It’s probably why you’ve never gone a day without seeing someone without a Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf mug in hand.

7. We’re all into going green.

From bans on plastic bags or the numerous amount of weird looking toilets in Santa Monica, to the plethora of eco-friendly activists sporting brand new Prii (the plural form of Prius) or those ruthless hippies screaming at you to “save the whales” each time you exit Whole Foods Market, Los Angeles is no doubt swarming with liberals of all sorts greening up and making an effort to preserve Mother Earth. That’s how good we really are. Mhm.

8. We’re all trying to make it, or at least know someone who knows someone else who has a friend in the biz.

So according to the UCLA Anderson School of Business, film and TV jobs make up only 3.5 percent of all jobs in L.A. — and that excludes freelance gigs. That’s pretty surprising, since “the industry” seems to account for much of the city’s economy — and since aspiring actors, screenwriters, and filmmakers seem to be everywhere.

From the local coffeehouse on Sunset Blvd. to a sushi spot in the Valley, chances are that even if you didn’t move to the city to become a star, there are fewer than six degrees of separation between you and someone trying to be (or at least working in entertainment). Perhaps your best friend’s mother is a makeup artist, or your uncle is a sitcom writer. Or maybe your neighbor does craft services, your cousin does location scouting for movie sets, or the landlord’s son shoots video for MTV. Heck, you yourself were probably standing in line at the Arclight last week hoping to catch Fall’s newest blockbuster hit– or sitting behind a tall, dark, and handsome dude who had half a second part in last summer’s blockbuster hit. Hollywood is big business in the City of Angels and it’s pretty much unavoidable. Deal with it.

9. We cannot handle even a drop of water.

Expect a social media frenzy upon the first droplet of water on any sidewalk pavement. Even the slightest drizzle of H20 spirals the city into a slow and terrible panic. Rain, for the most part, though much needed in this drought, is dreaded and catastrophic. Basically, any temperature below a comfy 75 degrees probably means that a “storm” is on the horizon.

Don’t get us wrong, we do adore the slippery gear — that chic wet weather fashion — and often experience a sheer sense of glee when we finally get the chance to dig through the back of our closets for those 400-hundred dollar designer rain boots that have never gotten a chance to see the light of day. It’s just that the actual gloom and doom of water rushing down from the sky that means nothing but trouble. A rainy day in L.A. is the perfect excuse to stay in, to play hooky, and to cuddle up under the covers. Beware.

10. If we’re not stuck in traffic, we’re talking about traffic.

Well, this may partly be due to our abnormal attachment to cars, or simply because you basically need a car in order to survive in L.A. Whether it’s for a job, for school, for a friend’s party, or for that daily dinner run, people in Los Angeles cannot get around without four wheels, two wheels, or at least some sort of mobile transport. And once you’ve gotten comfortable with that fact, it pretty much becomes second nature in order to avoid walking. It’s probably what caused that whole pervasive debate that eventually became a song.

Angelenos are in love with their cars, and apparently all that driving on the 101 and the 405 truly tuckers us out. In L.A., red lights, road hazards, and sig alerts can be expected any time of day, so naturally, they often come up as hot topics of conversation — especially when POTUS is visiting. Good news is, we started to improve ever so slightly, as we’ve recently moved on up from incessantly talking about the streets to constantly talking about what driving apps are the most fab. There’s even one now that’s solely for the ladies. Va-vroom.

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