For some reason as a kid growing up in North America, Swedish girls carried some sort of mystical property. Thinking back it might have something to do with an inside joke that rolled around Hollywood and made its way out into the general public. I know that on more than one occasion I dropped the whole “Hot Swedish Blonde” line when in fact I could not even name a single Swedish Blonde.
The interesting thing about the western world is that when it comes to stereotypes, they are just getting harder to find. And an interesting thing about stereotypes is that they are fun (and funny). They are the easiest things to poke some fun at, and they break the ice in cultures that are always more than happy to laugh at themselves (the British especially). This is important I think because there are certain cultural exports that have no basis in reality, but make it into popular culture an ocean away. I would love to see a Swede cook and talk like the Chef from the Muppets, as I am sure any North American would. But there are no grounds for that character that I have seen.
So its no surprise that many of the emails I have been getting from friends have been about the “Swedish Babes” (this is from both guys and girls). Not wanting to disappoint, I have been saying that they are great but that is again just me feeding the stereotype which is why I am even writing this in the first place. So here is a (superficial) breakdown of Swedish Women.
Blondes: There are more blondes here than in Vancouver. That is a given. But compared with Edmonton or Calgary the difference is less notable. But yes, there are lots of blondes here, but not the platinum blonde that people expect. Some of the blondest people here are from Finland. So I will not smash the stereotype because there are a lot of blonde people here, but there are also a lot of black, red and brown haired people as well.
Height: Again compared to Vancouver the women are taller here. But compared to Alberta, I again have to say the difference is much less. While I do find it rare to talk to women in Canada who are the same height as me (without heels) I find it happening quite often in Sweden. And every once in a while I will see a woman who is a couple of inches taller than I am. And she will almost always be blonde.
Bodies: Swedish girls are naturally a stronger build than most Canadian girls. There is a very strong workout culture in Sweden, and at the gym I go it is common to wait for a girl to finish with the barbells. They gym classes are also packed at most hours of the day, they ride bikes everywhere (or walk) and are huge indoor hockey and handball players. Every girl I have talked to has a hobby that includes some sort of fitness (often that they have been doing since they were 7 years old). So while Swedish girls are a bit thicker than Canadian girls, they are not fat (for the most part) their stomach and waist are tight, and obesity is very rare.
What I guess I am trying to say is that there Swedish women are beautiful, yes. However, maybe not to the extent that we North Americans have been lead to believe. And as an added bonus, they are also very nice, well-mannered and smart. Definitely take home to Mom material.