Ok. So I’ve been living in Leeds for two months now…

…and here are my observations, as a young mixed-race Londoner, on uni life and the city in general.

  1. Punched-in-the-face blusher: Northern girls (or girls from anywhere who live in the north) don’t wear make-up like the girls I know. Where I’m from, people don’t wear false eyelashes and bronzer on a daily basis, or foundation that makes your face look 2D. And, I’ve noted with interest, that a lot of girls wear their blusher, not on the apples of their cheeks, but across the whole side of their face, like they’ve just been in a fight in New Look over the last pair of lace-up suede wedges…and why does everyone wear their hair in a fucking huge messy top knot?
  2. Boys can get more drunk: The lads up here down dirty pints like a castaway who’s found an oasis, resulting in ridiculous amounts of vomiting, inappropriate pissing, nudity, climbing up buildings, cross dressing, falling over, fighting, breaking shit, sloppy kisses, and small fires. Which is all fine. Fucking hilarious to watch. But girls are both expected to keep up with the drinking and not get in a mess. If a girl has a bit too much to drink and ends up throwing up/messing up her make-up/on the floor, everyone judges her, shakes their head, and brands the whole thing highly embarrassing. Ok then.
  3. Bitch=Respect: Female lecturers get a lot of stick (especially, weirdly enough, from girls) for being too nice. Everyone is so condescending and eye-rolly if she laughs or appears in anyway unorganized or apologetic. People somehow take it as her treating them like idiots and deem her slightly unfit. But if she’s bitchy, goes too fast, and appears angry and/or no-nonsense, then everyone shrugs and goes ‘I like her. She knows what she’s talking about’. Or they just moan about what a bitch she is. Sigh.
  4. Mixed-race guys fancy white girls: Just a general observation (and not that there’s anything wrong with it), but I’ve noticed all black and mixed race guys (what little there are…) seem to automatically go for white girls. Not that there are even that many coloured girls anyway. I have like a handful in all my classes. Um…yeah.
  5. Lack of Swag: Yeah, alright, accuse me of being a typical LDN gyal who thinks London is top dog…yeah. In London, most of the guys have style. They look fresh. Go out any day round central, shepherds bush…you will see people dripping swag. Fresh creps, colour coordination, Adidas satchels, snap backs, vans. Here, the ‘urban community’ (I don’t really know what that means up here) is all about mismatching hoodies and joggers (noo!), shitty (sorry) trainers, old old old Nike drawstring bags…its more dubstep criminal than grime baller…
  6. Leeds Hipsters hide their shyness with condescension: Oh yes. There’s a lot of them about, with their undercut and curly two-tone hairstyles, big knitted jumpers, little leather rucksacks, chinos or skinnies and desert boots. I would love to, er…try one out, as it were, but none will ever approach me. Know why? They like girls who contrast clothes that show off skinny legs and arses at the bottom (little high-waisted shorts or black leggings, plus stompy boots) with big baggy things that, again, make you appear small and boyish, almost (baggy shirts, huge sheepskin and leather coats or green parka with fur-trimmed hood), plus top knotted/messy/half shaved hair. All of these things, I do not possess. Also, I believe, they are shy (read ‘interesting and deep’, if you like), and so cover this with a wall of cooler-than-thou elitism. Branch out, little hipsters. Get off your icy, faux-niche cultural throne, take off your glass-less glasses, and look around.

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