A Picture of Gen Y with Lily Allen

Lily Allens “The Fear”, a global number one song gives an excellent picture of Gen Y, how they see themselves and the world in which created them.


As older generations I often hear people say Gen Y are self centred, lack respect and have little or no sense of responsibility. By looking at some key phrases in this song we begin to get a picture of who they are, how they think and how they see their world.


Keep in mind that when looking at generational analysis their are some limitations. The following explanations are simply to highlight examples and may not be true for everyone classified as being Gen Y.


Lily Allen – Fear


Gen Y explained




I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and i want ____loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

And i’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
Cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars concussing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
and that’s what makes my life so ______ fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
And its not my fault it’s how I’m programmed to function
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah we’re on to a winner

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner








Gen Y want money without the effort behind it. They have seen their parents work hard for little reward – still paying off mortgages, working two jobs and for them life is about enjoyment not sacrifice.

Technology such as You tube (broadcast yourself) and the media have opened up numerous ways for Gen Y to gain attention and feel significant in a busy world.

Gen Y receive so many mixed messages, they just want people to BE REAL, to act with integrity, honesty and clarity.  

Role models seem to come more from media than at home, yet Gen Y crave real leaders who are inspiring, caring and have the time to give them some attention.

Gen Y have been created by us as adults, they did not create themselves.

They do have an optimistic attitude towards life – with technology you can do anything, go anywhere, have anything.

They have grown up in a world governed by fear due to experiences such as  9/11. They are told not to believe everything they hear but trust me. Not to go outside the fence on their home yet take initiative and responsibility for themselves.

Older generations often say Gen Y are self centred, This is true as we have told them to stand up for themselves, respect themselves and they can achieve anything.


The bottom line is Gen Y find it difficult to relate to other generation because their world is so different. If we want to engage, inspire and guide Gen Y, we need to understand their world, we need to communicate clearly and we need to listen for their needs while still consider our own.


Gen Y want to connect with you and for you to want to connect with them is a real relationship.

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