4 D.C. Stereotypes Debunked | The Washington Center

4 D.C. Stereotypes Debunked

So, I'm going to be honest. After watching Scandal, I have always dreamed of strutting down the corridors of the White House in a pantsuit and pumps like Olivia Pope. I mean, don't we all? I thought I knew D.C. inside out from watching that TV show alone. However, after being immersed in the city for almost three weeks now, I can definitely say that Scandal does a great job of "Hollywooding" D.C. to make it look like a blood-thirsty, everyone-is-out-to-get-everyone city. I came to The District prepared to put on my white hat and "handle it," as the great Olivia Pope would say. This week, I thought it would be good to provide some insight on what D.C. is really like, despite what Hollywood tells us.

 

Courtesy of giphy.com

 

Here are 4 classic D.C. stereotypes debunked:

 

1. Everyone is a power-hungry politician.

Yes, D.C. is the headquarters of the federal government, but that does not mean 100% of the people here work in politics or for a government-run agency. When people come here, they expect everyone wearing a suit to be a Senator or a lobbyist; however, many NGOs, private corporations and consulting firms are all based in D.C. Being the non-politically savvy person that I am, I was pretty worried that I would be bombarded by partisan debates everywhere I turn, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

 

Courtesy of awesomelyluvvie.com

 

2. Tourists are inescapable and super annoying.

For this one, it definitely depends on where you go. If you are in the Northwest quadrant of D.C. (The National Mall, White House, etc.), crowds of sweaty people in cargo shorts are pretty inevitable. On the flip side, NoMa (the neighborhood where TWC's housing is located) is a quiet neighborhood consisting of local young families and their dogs; no tourists in sight. Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Eastern Market and even Georgetown are also neighborhoods that are, for the most part, very selfie-stick free.

 

Courtesy of imgflip.com

 

3. People in D.C. don't have lives outside of work.

During my short time in D.C., I have met some of the most hardworking and passionate people I have ever come in contact with. Washingtonians pride themselves in their work, as they should, because most likely it was not a quick hop, skip and a jump to get where they are. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is a boring workaholic with no social life. Most professionals I've met have made it a point to pass along to me some of their favorite restaurants, museums, concert venues and theaters.

 

Courtesy of tvguide.com

 

4. D.C. is full of hipsters.

Alright, I've been hearing this one a lot, and it really confuses me. I have yet to see a man bun, handlebar mustache or mom jeans, so I'm not really sure why people say this. Going to a music school in Nashville has exposed me to all of these things and much, much more.

 

Hipster George Washington

Courtesy of Huffington Post

 

Okay, maybe I went a little too far on that one.

 

Disappointingly, shows like Scandal set some pretty unrealistic expectations of D.C. life. Believe it or not, people do actually smile here, "Gettysburger" doesn't exist (I was totally under the impression that I would be getting some "Freedom Fries" at least once a week), and politicians, as far as I know, don't usually choose the Lincoln Memorial as their meeting place of choice.

 

Courtesy of @Scandal Twitter

 

I came to D.C. with a very specific view of what I thought it would be like; however, it continues to prove time and time again that it is so much more than politicians, lawyers and tourists. How Washington is portrayed on the TV screen only scratches the surface of the vibrance and electricity of this city.

 

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