Growing Up In The ’00s In The UK Vs The USA

This is a tale of MSN vs. AOL.

1. In the U.K. you carried your schoolbooks in a Roxy backpack and your sports kit in a Jane Norman carrier.


In the U.S. schoolbooks went in your JanSport backpack and gym clothes in a Gap shopping bag.


2. In the U.K. you covered yourself in So…? Kiss Me, Charlie Red, or Impulse.


And if it was a special occasion, you went for Just Pink from Next or the Body Shop’s White Musk.

In the U.S. you smelled like Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret body spray.


And special occasions called for Clinique Happy.

3. In the U.K. the highlight of your year was queuing up at midnight for the newest Harry Potter book.

Chris Jackson / Getty

Whereas in the U.S. you preferred standing in line for concert tickets to see whichever boy band you were obsessed with that year.

Chris Hondros / Getty

Although you obviously loved Harry Potter too.

4. In the U.K. nothing was better than a night in playing The Sims or SSX.


In the U.S. you loved The Sims too. But you also loved Tomb Raider.


5. In the U.K. you spent your evenings flirting with boys on MSN.

In the U.S. you spent your evenings flirting with boys on AOL.

6. In the U.K. you read Shout, Mizz, and Bliss religiously.


In the U.S., YM, Teen People, and Seventeen were your bibles.

Condé Nast

Time Inc



7. In the U.K. you either wanted to be a member of either S Club 7 or Sugababes.


But you would have happily become a member of Steps, Atomic Kitten, or Miss-Teeq too.

In the U.S. you wanted to be in The Pussycat Dolls or Destiny’s Child.



8. In the U.K., these books spoke to you.


And you aspired to speak like Georgia Nicolson.

In the U.S., these books spoke to you.


9. In the U.K. you dressed exclusively in Tammy tees, Gap hoodies, and Claire’s Accessories tat.


And you ventured into River Island when you needed something glitzy.

In the U.S. you bought all your clothes from the Delia’s catalogue, American Eagle, and, obviously, Claire’s.


10. In the U.K. you spent every Friday night watching Top of the Pops and scoffing microwave popcorn.


In the U.S., Friday night meant catching up on America’s Next Top Model and scoffing 3D Doritos.


11. In the U.K. you wished your life was like Skins.

But really it was more like The Inbetweeners.

In the U.S. you wished your life was like The O.C.

But it was more like Daria.

12. In the U.K. you watched My Parents Are Aliens and Kerching.


But also Tracy Beaker and Big Kids.

In the U.S. you watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Malcolm in the Middle.




13. In the U.K. you bought scented gel pens from WH Smith and “sensible” school shoes from Clarks before the new term began.


In the U.S. you bought Gelly Roll pens from Target, and your “sensible” school shoes came from Payless ShoeSource.


14. In the U.K. you spent your lunchbreak on Neopets and Dollz Mania.


Before working out how to compose “Round Round” on your Nokia 3310.

In the U.S. you spent your lunchbreaks playing Snake and trying to update your MySpace profile from the school library.


15. In the U.K. you stocked up on tuck-shop Millions at lunch.

Which complemented your turkey twizzlers perfectly.

In the U.S. you bought tons of these from the student store.

16. In the U.K. you wrote love letters to Gareth Gates and Prince William.

John Li / Getty

Pool / Hulton Archive / Getty


And you genuinely felt your heart break when Will Young stole Gates’ rightful Pop Idol crown.

In the U.S. you wrote love letters to Adam Brody and Prince William (obviously).

Getty / Frederick M. Brown

Pool / Hulton Archive / Getty


What happened to Brody?

17. In the U.K. you accessorised with tattoo-style chokers and Livestrong wristbands.


And shag bands, if you were feeling cheeky.

In the U.S. it was all about large sunglasses and super fun hats.

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Getty Images Entertainment


It was basically all about doing whatever Britney did.

18. In the U.K., you owned both of these.


In the U.S. you owned both of these.


19. In the U.K., you got drunk on blue WKD and Caribbean Twist.


And in the U.S., you got drunk on green apple Smirnoff Ice and Bartles & Jaymes’ Fuzzy Navel wine coolers.


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Tabatha Leggett is head of buzz at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
Cate Sevilla is the UK managing editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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