Have you ever noticed everything apocalyptic happens in America?
The Hunger Games, Bird Box, The Walking Dead – almost every popular “post-apocalyptic” story is American. Somewhere along the line, it became trendy to fictionalize a disturbing future for our fallen country.
Somewhere along that same line, we collectively agreed to romanticize England. Even though British influence on American culture has been undeniably present for decades from "The Beatles" to Princess Diana, it’s never been so trendy. Personally, I think our generation has two phenomenons to blame (thank): Harry Potter and One Direction.
When given the choice between a world where children murder for sport or one full of magic, who in their right mind would pick the first? Sure, our generation might not have been the first target audience for Harry Potter, but it’s had as much influence on Gen Z as it did Millenials. Many of us read the stories growing up, wishing we could just pick up and go to Hogwarts. And that’s exactly it – from a young age, so many of us wanted to run away to England. It was magical: witches and wizards, magical creatures, and a freaking castle. How could places like grimy NYC compare?
Then came One Direction, one of the biggest British (and Irish) boy bands in the world. The concept of a boy band was far from new, but what made "One Direction"
stand out was the fact that they were from that mystical place called England (and Ireland - sorry Niall!). Between the alluring accents (anyone else have their Siri set to a British guy or just me?) and personable boys who were good looking with catchy songs, America never stood a chance. It was Beatlemania 2.0, but this time, with social media. Celeb stalking was taken to the next level, and next thing you know, the majority of young American girls knew everything about the “otherworldly” bakery Harry Styles worked in before rising to fame. Myself included, although I think I’m one of the few that actually went.
So the real question is, why now? Why is it that when anything even remotely
interesting happens to Prince Harry, I need to text everyone about it? Why was I dead set on studying abroad in London when I could’ve picked any exotic place?
Why has there been a steady uprise in TV centered around Brits? Because it’s magical and mysterious. Maybe not in the way we first grew to believe by reading Harry Potter or listening to "One Direction," but there’s something still so fascinating about all things British. Whether or not this version of England our generation has painted is fantasy or reality (although I’m inclined to believe the latter because even after spending months there, I’m still obsessed), there’s simply no denying one thing; everything British is magical.