The attitudes of young British people, according to the rest of the world

‘They’re basically Americans, if Americans wore full football kits’


It’s been a big year for Britain on the world stage. With the EU Referendum, a growing rift between older and younger Brits came to the fore – the latter blaming the former for the UK’s decision to leave.

So, in a post-Brexit world, where do the young people of the UK fit?

We thought we’d ask some 20-somethings from Europe, America and beyond what they thought of the attitudes of young British people. Yes, they reckon you’re a problem drinker.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

“They’re often sarcastic douchebags.” – David, USA

“Everything is noticeably more casual. Overall it’s just a more cavalier attitude in comparison to Americans, particularly Midwestern Americans. I can’t really say I’ve ever met a Brit my age I’ve totally disliked.” – Audra, USA

5

“One thing that actually shocked me when I first came to the UK is that Brits start working at a really young age. They make money and become independent quicker than what I was used to.” – Mina, Turkey

“When they ask ‘How are you?’ they don’t actually care how you’re doing, it’s just a greeting. So don’t start talking about your personal life.” – Amandine, France

“British people don’t care much what others think of them. They just do and wear what they like without thinking too much about other peoples’ opinions.” – Timos, Greece

“Brits judge people a lot based on where they went to uni. Americans do it with college too, but it’s more low-key.” – Karen, USA

“Most of the Brits I’ve met seemed really smart in the beginning, but then I met a few guys from Essex and everything went downhill fast.” – Sasha, USA

“There seems to be many different types of poms, but the two that stick out the most are the sophisticated aristocrats versus the socially extrovert footy-mad lads.” – Dan, Australia

“Green Street is quite a popular movie in Turkey, so I think that holds a lot of weight on our stereotype of English people.” – Izel, Turkey

“I feel extremely weird every time I meet a British person and they kiss me on both cheeks. I wouldn’t even do that to someone I knew really well.” – Caroline, USA

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

“American boys really only know how to just hook up or be married, which I find both to be incredibly boring options. British boys actually enjoy the chase and know when to step up to the occasion.” – Tiana, USA

“Relationships are very personal here, you don’t really talk about them with other people. Although everyone seems to have an obsession with public sex, just wanting to screw in the mud at festivals for some reason.” – Timos, Greece

“I think talking about sex is less taboo and the act of sex is more casual.” – Taylor, USA

4

“I was expecting more of an American ‘hook-up culture,’ but Brits are actually more relationship people and like going on dates.” – Mina, Turkey

“When it comes to sex, drugs and relationships, I always think of Skins. I don’t know if it’s like that in real life, but when I think about young British people I picture Skins characters – really trashy and crazy.” – Astrid, France

“I think Brits are quite similar to Dutch people in terms of relationships. If we’re single we enjoy the single life, but in relationships I think we are both quite loyal.” – Edwin, Holland

“They’re very confident and don’t have any shame about anything. Although when it comes down to the ‘action,’ they’re not all that expert.” – Giorgio, Italy

“British guys seem like they are always waiting for something else to come a long – I put this down to there being more women then men. They aren’t the most responsible when it comes to safe sex, either.” – Sarah, Australia

“My German friends have told me that Brits are kinky in the sack, open to all sorts of dirty shit. Then again, in Aus that’s actually what Germans are known for.” – Dan, Australia

“Sex definitely seems more casual. No-one seems to care how many partners you’ve had, how often you are or aren’t having sex and with who, because it’s none of anyone’s damn business anyways.” – Zoe, USA

APPEARANCE

“I’m not saying Britain is the only place where people attempt fashion trends they can’t pull off, but there’s definitely an admirable not give a fuck attitude. Only Cara Delevingne can pull off those ultra-chisel sharpie eyebrows, and just because there’s no sun doesn’t mean you should use that much fake tan.” – Rob, Canada

“Women really love makeup and they’re really good at it (sometimes). They always go hard when they’re dressing up to go out.” – Karen, USA

“They’re basically Americans, but they wear more football kits.” – David, USA

3

“I feel like British women dress better and don’t wear leggings and a sweatshirt everyday.” – Taylor, USA

“Brits dress very well and seem to always look put together. Guys seem to spend more time on their appearance here than back home, which I think is a good thing.“ – Bethany, Canada

“I think Brits don’t care about their appearance as much as Dutch people do. They mostly wear casual clothes in their spare time, like a T-shirt and jeans, whereas here in the the Netherlands everyone puts gel in their hair. You don’t see that as much in Britain.” – Edwin, Holland

“Everyone looks like they’ve walked out of an H&M brochure.” – Giorgio, Italy

“You all always look more put-together than people in the States, but I also know deep down you all could out-drink and out-party me any day.” – Caroline, USA

“Brits seem sure of themselves all the time. They don’t care about their clothes, they just wear what they want without shame. I like that about them!” – Astrid, France

“Everyone has pink cheeks because they drink so much. And long noses. And bad teeth.” – Izel, Turkey

DRINKING & DRUGS

“Drinking is similar to the US, but y’all start earlier so you’re better.” – Sasha, USA

“It’s kind of a cliche, but British students are really big drinkers. They don’t care if they are ‘dishes’ at parties so they drink a lot.” – Astrid, France

“I think drinking is still a problem in the UK. From what I know drinking is a cultural pastime in England, with pubs being a centrepoint of socialising and culture for all ages.” – Yann, Switzerland

“Brits drink a lot. One strange thing I’ve noticed is in London, where people drink beer in suits at lunchtime – you couldn’t do that in the Netherlands. When British people come to Amsterdam they’re always drunk, but that’s just on vacation so they’re probably not like that in their daily lives.” – Edwin, Holland

“Drinking is a lifestyle, and you can definitely outdrink us. Also, cocaine to Brits is like what weed is to Americans.” – Karen, USA

1

“It’s much more common for young people to smoke cigarettes – even people who consider themselves non-smokers often smoke in social situations. Party drugs are also more common here: none of my friends back home really do drugs or smoke cigarettes.” – Bethany, Canada

“Compared to where I’m from Brits seem to be a lot more behaved and civilised with alcohol. Less restrictions, you can drink in a public place, less lockouts. Drugs are a lot more socially acceptable in public, though.” – Sarah, Australia

I feel like drug use is a bit more chill across the pond – as in someone doing a bump of cocaine is just a regular thing.” – Zoe, USA

England is well-known for its rave scene, ekkies and coke. Scotland has a bad rep for smack.” – Dan, Australia

“They can outdrink us, we can outmeth them.” – David, USA

“It’s my favourite part of the UK. It doesn’t matter the weather, it doesn’t matter the day of the week. You guys know how to party, and there’s always a place for you if you want to. If you have a fake tan and drawn-on eyebrows, there’s a place for you. If you have dreads and a mandala tattoo, there’s a place for you. If you wear a cap and smoke rollies, there’s a place for you. I love that.” – Rob, Canada

“There’s a culture of drunkenness: people just drink to get as drunk as possible in the cheapest possible way, whereas where I come from alcohol accompanies meals – it’s appreciated for its taste rather than its effects.” – Amandine, France

“The drinking culture is crazy, everyone gets absolutely smashed – leaving me responsible for home delivery after every single freaking night out.” – Timos, Greece

“I’ve never met a British person who refused a drink.” – Giorgio, Italy

POLITICS & RELIGION

“Brits just follow the trend around the world of old people deciding for the young, while young people just ignore the situation making it worse. England is a little bit of an old person country.” – Timos, Greece

“Youths are voting more left, the elderly are voting more right – the youth just want things to feel more fair, the elders want to keep the status quo and their comfort. It’s a similar situation to what’s happening in America at the moment: people want change and they’re not getting it, so they vote more extreme.” – Yann, Switzerland

“One thing I love is how much more accepting they are of all religions: in France no-one is allowed to wear anything religious in a workplace or public place (aka a school or the beach, apparently). In the UK, all religions and different ways of dressing seem to be accepted, which is something I think France should take example on.” – Amandine, France

2

“In France, British people seem to be selfish and arrogant. The cliche is ‘British people don’t care about other countries and want to be unique’. But I have to say that I admire that, even if young Brits seem more open-minded about others countries and Europe.” – Astrid, France

“People are very critical of their government in the UK, which I commend. People in Canada have a ‘well they are the government, they know what they’re doing’ sort of attitude, which is strange.” – Rob, Canada

“You guys don’t have guns, so that’s different.” – Sasha, USA

“Underinformed and overopinionated. The House of Lords seems to be a bunch of school boys slagging each other off, and the whole Brexit issue hasn’t done wonders for Britain’s image.” – Dan, Australia

“Even the conservative ones are a bunch of socialists.” – David, USA

“Brexit. Say no more.” – Giorgio, Italy