How are the Germans? (explains a German) (2023)

Whatever the movie, show, or ad, Germans are stereotypically portrayed as pale, blonde, blue-eyed, and rosy-cheeked.

In addition, overweight Germans are often shown with beer, sausages or chocolate in their hands, wearing traditional attire such as leather pants or dirndls.

But to be honest, this is not how typical Germans look or dress. As a German, let me explain everything about these stereotypes.

Shades of blue, green, and gray in eye color, as well as hair colors such as blonde, are common throughout Germany. However, darker shades like brown or black are also commonly seen among Germans.

Most Germans are tall and have broad shoulders. Their faces are generally "edgy" with a strong jaw, long nose, large or half drooping eyes along with blonde, dark blonde, and brown hair.

But this is only the beginning of the story.

The population of Germany today is much more different than what is described throughout the world. Germans are a lot like a rainbow.

Find out what that rainbow is with this article and I will tell you what the Germans are really like.

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What are some typical features of German?

Europe is very rich in diversity and Germany, located in the heart of Europe, is no exception.

So to say that a country has a particular set of characteristics would not be correct. However, some physical features are more common than others.

Germans tend to have the following facial features:

  • cara rectangular
  • Fuller faces around the lower half of the face area.
  • Fair skin and sometimes slightly tanned skin.
  • Big head
  • small cheeks
  • More prominent and high cheekbones.
  • eyes down
  • Full square jaw
  • Straight and larger nose
  • pointy chin
  • thinner lips

You can detect some of these traits in many Germans, such as the world famous German supermodel Heidi Klum, the 1980s singer Thomas Anders, the actress Diane Kruger, the physicist Albert Einstein, the former German chancellor Angela Merkel or the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. .

Click to see my other articles onGermany. I have also linked them all at the bottom of this article.

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As for the German physical traits, the most common are the following:

  • usually tall
  • big shoulders
  • Well built and robust body
  • Sometimes a fuller chest
  • Shades of blonde and brown hair.
  • Blue, gray and hazel eye color
  • Overall larger bone structure.

Please note that from a genetic point of view, Germany is not a homogeneous country.

Germany has a huge genetic landscape with regional differences due to extensive migration and a high level of genetic admixture over centuries.

The German look has a deep history of migration, colonization, world wars and more. That is why it is difficult to distinguish different German characteristics.

In general, Germany varies as much in physical characteristics as any other country.

Whether your physical features fit a specific pattern or not, you can still be of your own ethnicity regardless of your appearance.

What are the most common eye and hair colors in Germany?

Germany is home to an abundant variety of diverse eye and hair colors.

In Germany, you can see almost every color of hair and eyes.

However, the most common eye color found in Germany is blue, closely followed by intermediate colors such as different shades of green, gray, and hazel.

According to a 2019 survey, 39.6% of the population in Germany have blue eyes, 33.2% are intermediate, and the remaining 27.2% have brown eyes.

As for the most widespread hair color, 68.4% of Germans are blond, while 31.4% are brown and a small fraction of 0.2% are redheaded.

While blonde is the most common hair color found in Germany, darker blonde shades are the most prevalent.

Looking at the eye color statistics in Germany, there is not much difference. So would it be correct to portray all Germans with blue eyes?

Also, despite fair-haired Germans being in the majority, 31.4% of German brunettes still make up a significant amount of Germany's population.

So should the “typical German” always be portrayed as blond?

What do you think?

The colorful diversity of the German people: dealing with stereotypes

When it comes to portraying Germans, whether in movies, ads, shows, or books, she always seems to be an aesthetic: blonde, blue-eyed, big-bellied, red-cheeked, and with a beer, sausage, pretzel, or candy bar in hand while wearing the “Tracht” (traditional German costume).

Here are my answers to common questions about the Germans.

Are all Germans blond and blue-eyed?

Although blonde hair and blue eyes are very common, the German look is of a much broader spectrum than is usually portrayed.

Being half German on my mother's side, I can exemplify the diversity of appearances among ethnic Germans themselves.

My mom may be blonde now, but she's actually a dark brunette with green eyes. On the other hand, her siblings have light brown hair with blue eyes.

If I look at my German grandparents, my “Oma” (German for grandmother) was a brunette with green eyes, and my “Opa” (German for grandfather) had black hair and blue eyes.

Aside from the blonde hair and blue eyed majority, there are many ethnic Germans with brown and black hair, darker colored eyes, and even slightly tanned skin.

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Do Germans often use Tracht?

In addition, the typical German costume is not the "Tracht" (traditional German costume made up of the dirndl for women and Lederhosen with a feathered hat for men).

In everyday life, Germans wear normal western clothing.

This traditional costume is most common in southern Germany, in Bavaria, where people wear it on official occasions such as weddings, festivals (such as Oktoberfest), church visits, etc.

Click to read:30 German Fashion Brands You Can Buy Online

Current German population

Germany is a multicultural country and the German aesthetic is changing faster than ever.

A great example is the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund), which looks a lot like a rainbow. It features many young Germans with roots from different nations, but all together they are the face of Germany.

The country has been like a melting pot for most of its history. Factors such as migration, immigration, colonization, and world wars contributed greatly to Germany's changing appearance.

Since the 19th century, immigration into Germany has been on the rise.

People from all over the world immigrated to Germany, settled with their families and became part of the nation.

Many of my German friends were born and raised there, but many have foreign roots to some extent such as Russian, Polish, French, Italian and many more.

This further contributes to the appearance of the German people.

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Who considers himself German?

As I mentioned earlier, Germany has a rich and deep history of different ethnicities coming together from near and far, influencing the German DNA.

That is why it is difficult to trace the specific traits that make a German.

What exactly makes you German? Your birthplace? His parents? the way you look? A passport?

Well, sure, those aspects are important, but I think it's more about what's in your heart. It's about how you integrate into German life.

My siblings and I grew up with the same language, food, culture, songs, and values ​​as any other German child. However, we have a German mother and a Pakistani father. Does that make us less German?

I remember an old friend of mine who came to Germany during the third grade. She was Lithuanian and didn't know a word of German or the culture itself.

Over the years, her written and spoken German has become so good that no one could say that she is not German.

Born in Germany or not, with German parents or not, Germany just needs to be in your heart. That's all that matters.

Origin of the German people

German ancestry is much more complex than you might think.

The ancestors of the Germans are the Germanic peoples who settled in Central Europe and Scandinavia in 500 BC.

These Germanic tribes are believed to have originated from a combination of people from the Baltic Sea coast. Initially inhabiting the northern part of Europe, the Germanic tribes spread further south.

After a series of great migrations, Germanic tribes advanced into central and southern present-day Germany around 100 BC.

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During that time, the Germanic tribes could be divided into 3 main groups:

  • the North germanic peopleinhabiting the southern region of present-day Scandinavia;
  • o east germanic peopleliving along the Oder and Vistula rivers; Is
  • the west germanic peopleliving in southern Jutland and in the region between the Elbe and the North Sea, the Rhine and the Main rivers.

It was not until the early Middle Ages that a distinct German ethnic group began to emerge, especially from the Franks, Frisians, Thuringians, Alemanni, Saxons, and Bauvarii.

check my articleLanguages ​​similar to Germanlearn mutually intelligible languages ​​with German.

The period from the second to the sixth century was a time of change and destruction for the East and West Germanic tribes. They left their homelands and settled in newly acquired territories.

This chapter of Germanic history included the defeat of the Roman Empire that occupied territories on the east bank of the Rhine River.

Eventually, the Germanic people regained a significant amount of living space, helping them to expand further.

Germanic kingdoms did form but existed for a rather short period, especially in other parts of Europe, such as Italy or Spain. However, the kingdom established by the Franks and the Anglo-Saxons remained.

The victory over the Roman-ruled Gaul region of Western Europe during the fifth century became a landmark in European history. It was the Franks who established the most powerful Christian kingdom in early Western Europe, dominating present-day Belgium, northern France, and western Germany.

Germanic peoples are ancestrally linked to many nations in Europe today and have a great influence on the genetic characteristics of modern Germans.

How do you know if someone is German?

I find it very difficult to tell if someone is German just by looking at them, especially among other European nationalities. Germans, French, British and many other neighboring nationalities are all quite similar in appearance.

But you can identify a German by their daily habits, behavior, and accent when speaking English.

  1. Germans have a distinctive English accent.

I, as a German, am familiar with the way Germans speak and pronounce English words. So I can identify a German while speaking English right away. And 95% of the time, I'm right.

Germans have this kind of thick accent along with the typical German "tune".

Also, in order to sound good in German, you have to open your mouth much wider than in American English, where only a small movement of the mouth is needed.

Germans also use this "open mouth technique" when speaking in English.

Also, Germans seem to have a habit of pronouncing the "th" sound as a "z". So instead of saying "The movie was ok" a German would probably say "The movie was ok".

I also noticed that some Germans tend to pronounce the "v" sound in English as a mix between "f" and "w".

  1. Efficiency and Discipline is the second name of a German

Germans are efficient, disciplined and hardworking. They finish their work on time or even ahead of time. They are well organized, plan things out, and stick to that plan. It is as if efficiency were in the genes of a German.

  1. Germans and vice versa? Impossible.

Let me tell you, the Germans are serious about their time. Wherever they need to be, they are always on time or even early. Being late is a big ban in Germany and is considered impolite.

  1. No German wardrobe is complete without Jack Wolfskin.

If you're trying to find a German, keep an eye out for those using a Jack Wolfskin item. Whether it's a jacket, shoes or backpack, almost every German owns at least one Jack Wolfskin item.

Even my father, who spent over 30 years in Germany and is actually Pakistani, became a German and has some Jack Wolfskin fur hats and fleece jackets.

  1. Germans are obsessed with sparkling water.

If you find someone abroad buying a lot of carbonated mineral water or if you already have it with you, that person is probably German.

Germans love mineral water, especially carbonated mineral water. They love its taste, its tickle on the tongue, and favor it for its health benefits.

Whether plain or infused with fruity flavors like "Apfelschorle" (apple juice mixed with sparkling water), Germans will welcome it with open arms.

If you want to know more about this unique German habit, read this article about“What water do they drink in Germany?”

Why do the Germans stare?

People look everywhere, regardless of country, but Germans don't necessarily look bad.

I'm German and I don't stare, nor do I know of any friends or relatives who do.

Still, if you are in Germany and someone really looks at you, there is probably a problem with your appearance or with the person himself.

I'm sure staring is considered rude in almost every part of the world. In Germany, it is considered rude.

I remember my mother telling me as a child not to look or point fingers at anyone. It is a natural phenomenon.

Staring at someone is intimidating and makes them feel uncomfortable or even starts a fight.

So I'm pretty sure staring has nothing to do with someone being German or not. Rather, it has to do with his upbringing.

However, one thing among Germans is that they maintain uninterrupted eye contact during a conversation.

For some people, it can feel like they are being watched, especially for foreigners. But as a local I can tell you that in Germany it is considered rude not to look at someone while they are talking.

So the next time you're talking to Germans and they keep staring at you, remember that they're just trying to be polite and listen carefully to what you're saying.

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written by Asma Schleicher and edited by Efe Genit. Asma is a creative writer with German and Pakistani roots. She is an analytical writer with a degree in business administration.

She writes mainly on topics related to culture, travel and fashion, reflecting her real life experiences. You can also check the Asthma profile atUpwork.

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