The very term �American� is itself highly ambiguous since the area historically described as �the Americas� stretches from Northern Canada to Cape Horn, off the southern coast of Chile. Even attempting to describe the physical or cultural traits of those people living within the United States can be difficult because, in essence, the nation is just that, a group of separate states with quite different people.
Whilst television advertisements seem to suggest that the average American is attractive, middle-class and Caucasian, many films and television shows produced in the country exaggerate the regional characteristics of different American people. This is because advertising reflects the way in which people see the very pinnacle of society whilst television and film tend to portray those at either end of the economic, aesthetic or intelligence spectrums in order to best entertain their audience. However, whilst both film and advertising feed off the views of the American people, they also direct and channel those views in order to serve their own ends. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that Americans continuously create and shape their own stereotypes.

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Those who live outside of America will also be highly influenced by the nation�s exported film and television shows when creating their own assumptions about the American people. However, for these foreign nationals, their own nation�s media and the extent to which it is controlled by that state�s government, will be fundamental in the creation of the American stereotype abroad.