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If you live in Manchester you are probably sick of all the stereotypes that are associated with your home city. Thanks to Shameless, Coronation Street and the Gallagher brothers, Southerners in particular have tarred the entire Manchester population with the same brush and conjured up unrealistic views of what it’s like to live in Manchester. Here are the ten stereotypes that really grind Mancunian gears.
Manchester may be known as the ‘rainy city’, but the claim that it always rains is nothing short of annoying. Yes, it does rain a lot but there’s plenty of warm sunny days to balance out the bad weather and at least it doesn’t get as cold as more rural locations. In fact, a recent study placed Manchester as the 15th rainiest city in England, completely disproving the stereotype that it never stops raining.
With two huge football clubs flaunting some of the most talented (and richest) footballers in the world, it’s no surprise that people think Manchester is brimming with WAG wannabes. If you hang out around Deansgate and Spinningfields and are partial to a fake tan, it is immediately assumed that you’re out to bag a footballer. Just because someone takes pride in their experience and likes a bit of luxury doesn’t make them a gold digger.
As soon as you tell a stranger that you are from Manchester, the question ‘City or United?’ will get thrown at you (with an expected answer of City, as everyone knows that is a true Mancunian’s favoured football club). Honestly, there are plenty of people in Manchester who couldn’t give two hoots about football at all, and an equal amount who support other teams across the world.
In the early 1990’s, Manchester was often associated with ecstasy use and drug use in the city is still highly reported, especially the recent popularity of spice among its homeless population. Contrary to popular belief (and what you’ve seen on Shameless), not everyone in Manchester is a junkie. In fact, it’s the city’s students (many of whom have relocated from other areas in the UK) that are most likely to be using illegal substances.
It’s always assumed that just because you are from Manchester, you must love Mancunian bands. This includes iconic Madchester era bands such as the Stone Roses, New Order, the Smiths and Oasis, but also recent big hitters like the Courteeners and Blossoms. Manchester’s music scene has much more to offer than the commercial success of these guitar bands, and who says you only have to enjoy local music?
Manchester has gained a bad reputation in the national press for drunken brawls in the early hours of weekend mornings. Yes, there are the occasional alcohol-fuelled fights (as there are in any UK city), but if you stay clear of ‘rough’ drinking dens, you can easily live in the city for years without experiencing any bad behaviour.
The Northern Quarter (and more recently Ancoats) is renowned for being a hipster mecca, filled with street art, independent shops and bars serving craft beer. Yes, there are a high concentration of hipsters in the neighbourhood, but most of the people who hang out in the Northern Quarter are just regular individuals looking for a good coffee or interesting shops.
One of the words that most Mancunians hate the most is ‘scally’. Yes, there are plenty of young people wearing sports gear, break-ins are rife and the smell of cannabis is pungent in certain areas – but name a UK city that doesn’t have these problems. It’s completely unfair to associate Manchester with scallies – they’re just a contemporary subculture that exist all across the country.
Harking back to the days of the Hacienda (which people seem to forget closed its doors twenty years ago), it’s a common misconception that everyone in Manchester spends their weekends raving to electronic music in city centre clubs or out on the surrounding moors. Bucket hat obligatory. Thanks to 24 Hour Party People, outsiders tend to picture Manchester as a hedonistic party city, but there’s so much more to Manchester than Factory 51 flashbacks.
This is the stereotype that is most likely to press a Mancunian’s buttons. Based on outdated assumptions that everyone in the north works in a mill or down a mine, the idea that anyone living north of Watford Gap has a poorer quality of life is infuriating. Manchester is home to the BBC, a thriving arts scene and one of the fastest rising housing markets in the UK. Not to mention their football clubs, music scene and hipster hangouts – all things that Mancunians are teased about but are actually huge assets to urban living.