Before she even arrived, Millie Hart was convinced that the United States was little more than a place where “everybody shot each other.”
The British expat, 31, who moved to Ohio with her husband Mark and their children, told Fox News that she had even assumed the family would be confined to their home for safety reasons at night — after “9:00 or something.”
But upon arrival, she quickly figured out that her preconceptions had been wrong — and now she’s on a mission to show others what life is really like.
“The news really portrays America across the world as being a country that’s unsafe,” Hart said. “And it’s not that at all, is it?”
In her nearly two years of living in America and visiting 16 states, the U.K. native says she’s never seen violence, while admitting that she could just be “just extremely lucky.”
“My impulse is to defend the people that live here now, and I feel like the actual American public get blamed for the things out of their control, so the Americans as a whole get tarnished,” she said. “But most of it’s not even them.”
One of her biggest misconceptions, she said, was regarding the country’s gun violence.
Guns took the lives of over 40,000 Americans in 2023, per ABC News — 14.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Pew Research Center.
There were also svmore mass shootings last year than days — 657 to be exact, per the Gun Violence Archive. Those shootings resulted in 597 deaths and 2,380 injuries.
Still, Hart has found an audience on TikTok, where she recently expressed that she has “never felt safer” than when in the US, which she described as “amazing.”
“If there’s a mass shooting, which are awful regardless of where you live, but the whole of America kind of gets blamed,” she told Fox News. “The only people that should be blamed is the people that are doing it, not the people that live in the country. That upsets me.”
While the US is “very different” than England, Hart was shocked that the country exceeded her expectations and assumptions.
On TikTok, she explained that not all Americans are “rude” despite their international reputation as such, calling them “friendly.”
“Overall, the American people have been lovely to me,” she said in a clip.
While some critics might believe that Americans are uncultured because they tend not to leave the states, she continued, she chalked it up to the vastness of the country.
A flight from the midwest to Florida would take about the same amount of time as traveling from her hometown to Spain, she said, and the array of cultures — part of the reason the US is referred to as a “melting pot” — allows citizens to the opportunity for different experiences without leaving their home country.
“A lot of Americans want to see their states or their country before they actually go on a plane and go to another country because this country has so much to offer, why would you want to leave it?” Hart said in a video.
And, she noted, that not everyone in the US is “fat” nor do they only eat fast food. In fact, she said, “all I ever see is people running.”
Back in England, a common misconception about Americans was that they were all obese or had diabetes and chose their poor diet. Hart, however, has learned that many citizens “had no choice” over their food quality.
“They don’t get to pick and choose what goes into their food,” she explained, adding that, because the price of food is “astronomical,” not everyone can afford the best quality.
In the United States, 71.6% of adults are classified as obese or overweight, according to the National Health and Nutrition Survey. In the United Kingdom, the number has risen to 64.9%, according to the 2021 Health Survey for England.
By sharing her epiphanies, Hart hopes she can educate non-Americans about the joys of the US — and her American viewers have thanked her for it.
“If I can use my platform to give a better understanding of the great people that live here, the world would just be a better place,” she said.