7 Stereotypes Coloradans Hear All The Time


The Mile High State. The little (and cheaper) brother to California. The “color red”. The Centennial State. Colorful Colorado. All of these are names for the 38th state of the United States. And they don’t even begin to cover the myriad of stereotypes I hear about it now that I’ve moved out. Even though we’re all a little crazy and we all don’t get quite enough oxygen, I’m proud to say I’m from Colorado. I’m proud to be a Boulderite. And I’m proud to call this landlocked state home.

1. That we are all top-notch skiers or snowboarders: False

I think people often equate California with its beaches and surfing to Colorado with its mountains and skiing/snowboarding. Sure, we go to the mountains like most Californians, but just like most Californians don’t surf, most Coloradoans don’t ski (it’s also twice as expensive and time consuming). Here’s the true situation: only the avid skiers and really rich go skiing every weekend during the winter. Some families will have condos in the resort towns, some kids will go to schools where they are given Fridays off to go skiing in the winter, but the vast majority of us live without the weekend trip to the mountain. In fact, we often time our mountain trips around ski times to avoid the inevitable traffic around Eisenhower tunnel. We all just like to pretend like when anyone asks us in an effort to perpetuate this very cool stereotype.

2. That we ride horses to school: False

Someone actually asked me this once and I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but we actually don’t. Because we don’t actually live in Wild Wild West during the 1800s anymore.

3. That we are all potheads: Okay, kinda true

Following the passing of marijuana legalization, it’s easy to assume that most Coloradans can be seen smoking a joint on a Friday night. This is partially true. You do see shops sprouting up all over the place and CU is notoriously known for its 4/20 smoke out. But Colorado is also one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, state in the country. And you can’t get that healthy by smoking pot all day.

4. That we are crazy outdoorsy people: True

My newsfeed features at least one new “Hike Album” with requisite pictures of the girl staring into the horizon from a mountain, or rant about how one almost got hit by a car whilst biking the intersection of 28th and Iris. Some individuals spend more money on their bikes than on their cars, and on any given Tuesday you’ll see at least one biker meandering up a canyon or biking the plains. It’s all about the outdoors in Colorado, and no one can get enough of the views.

5. That we are vegan hippies: Sort of true?

This one applies specifically to Boulder. I admit that we are very picky about food, but only because we have the money (lots of trust fund babies) and time to research and buy all the most natural, organic, disgusting looking food out there. Whole Foods is many peoples’ normal grocery store and everyone has at least one food allergy. We are total pizza snobs, but the likes of Noodles & Company and Chipotle came out of Colorado, so I’d say that’s a win.

6. That we’re always in danger of wildfires: Usually false

Colorado is 104,185 square miles. Most fires barely reach 1000 square miles. Before calling us in frantic worry, try checking a map. It’s pretty easy to locate the fire and where your loved ones are in a square shape. But actually we all really appreciate that people do care enough about us to give us a call.

7. That we’re either raging liberals or flaming conservatives: True

Yes. This one’s pretty accurate. But once again it is a generalization, and not everyone you meet in either place will fill this stereotype. 

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