International Traveling

Are the Brits Down with the Swirl? YES.

Turning heads, coy smiles, and sudden attempts at conversation: things I experience everyday down in London. I’m going to answer the question I’m sure all of you have been wondering. Are the Brits down for the swirl? YES, ladies. And the desire is strong.

(added by Christelyn, because she thought it would be funny.)

No, I’m not talking about the kind of attention you want to avoid. No cat calls, puckered lips, or hissing coming from the mouths of the less than desirable. From what I can tell it’s not a fetish but a diverse pallet that the majority of Londoners share.

Throughout the city it is quite obvious that the Brits don’t have a set “type” like most Americans do. Here in America I can almost guess to the eyelash what type of preference someone has after talking to them for five minutes. But the Brits? They always keep me guessing.

In England the swirling isn’t limited to vanilla and chocolate. I have seen all types of people from all over the globe in a relationship with each other in London. It was clear that the Black women didn’t have to fear when they were not approached by a Black male. Every Black mother I have come into contact with proudly holds hands with her biracial daughter.

But what limits Americans from thinking in the same terms? The argument can be made that London is a Metropolitan city, where swirling is not uncommon. But I have a different theory.

In America, color often (wrongly) dictates the expected commonalities we have between one another.  Americans think of themselves in terms of White, Black, Yellow, Brown, or Red.

For example, when is the last time you met someone who identified themselves as primarily Norwegian? And in the rare case that this would happen, what characteristics would you expect this person to have? In America we don’t usually think in these ethnic terms. We think in basic terms of color.

It is hard for the British to think strictly in terms of color, because their respective countries of origin are so close. In Great Britain even the various Western European countries are known to have their own distinctive ways of life and traditions, and many citizens still feel attached to them. Here there is no guarantee or expectation that you will have something in common with all the people of your race. Therefore, being in a relationship with someone of a different race is not that different than being in a relationship with someone of a different ethnicity.

According to the UK newspaper the Independent, mixed race children are becoming a significant portion of the UK population:

On current trends, mixed-race babies will soon outnumber those born to black couples in Britain. The last census showed that people of mixed race make up the third-largest minority group behind Indians and Pakistanis. But with half of them aged 16 or younger, they are the fastest growing. In time, people of mixed race will become Britain’s largest ethnic minority.

It is very refreshing to be in a place that takes advantage of their diverse surroundings. And hey, I don’t mind the attention;) Reason #17383272 to move to London.

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