As time passes and as generations come into their prime years, changing trends are inevitable. Whether it be on fashion, hairstyles, or even different senses of humor- it seems to be that older generations are starting to vehemently disagree with Gen Z’s decisive opinions on which trends are now acceptable or cool.
(Millennials are the generation from the birth years 1981 to 1996, preceding Gen Z, ranging from the years 1997 to 2012.)
Millennials on the internet have noticed our criticism of their favorite trends- side parts in their hair, skinny jeans, etc. While some of us do believe these trends are outdated and no longer fashionable, this criticism is in no way meant to be taken extremely seriously or as an attack. Most of these criticisms are harmless jokes- young people poking fun at the older generations and their habits.
However, some Millennials don’t seem to understand this, taking their fury to the internet through online articles or social media videos- some even claim they have been “personally victimized by a member of Gen Z.” Some have also made songs dedicated to trashing our generation, indignantly announcing through drawn-out transformation videos that their habits and favorite styles are here to stay, refusing to adopt some of our more “trendy” ones. A bit dramatic, to say the least.
A notable example of confusing animosity towards Gen Z by Millennials is a Buzzfeed Article by Shelby Heinrich titled “17 Things Gen Z Does That Millennials Actually Find Really Embarrassing.” Such a title already suggests that Heinrich has a lot of issues with our generation- but why?
While reading this article, I felt a lot of things, but mostly confusion. The author of the article goes on to nit-pick every trend (some of them you couldn’t even call trends, but rather, simple hobbies) Gen Z has that she doesn’t understand, brutally ridiculing us for doing things that harm absolutely nobody. Examples range from making Tiktok videos in public all the way to something as specific as how we format our social media profiles. Ironically, after spending pages making fun of young people, she ends the article with a gif of a crying woman captioned: “Me, a millennial caught in the middle of Gen Wars, wanting us all to get along.”
It seems like this nonexistent war between Generations is only really being fuelled by this kind of backlash from Millennials. To me, the difference between Gen Z’s criticism and Millennials’ attacks is simple. We’re just kids having a bit of fun and joking around about the outdated trends of the past, pointing out that what we find funny or stylish is drastically different from what older generations do. No one is instructing Millennials to stop enjoying themselves. These adults, however, as seen in this article, are firing back with such a strange amount of passion, defending their hobbies and attacking ours with a fury rivaling that of a king defending his crumbling nation.
Sure, I could possibly understand where they’re coming from. As an adult, it might be hard to accept that your opinions on certain trends might not be as “cool” anymore. You’re getting older and watching a new generation create their own little inside jokes and sense of community. But my question is: Why do a bunch of fully grown adults care so much about what teenagers deem socially acceptable? It’s just odd- and, frankly, immature.
So, Dear Millennials, from a member of Gen Z: We don’t care at all if you choose to keep your side parts and laughing emojis. You’re unnecessarily making out simple disagreements to be a “war” between generations. You do you, and kindly stop bullying kids for enjoying things.
Shelby Heinrich’s article: https://www.buzzfeed.com/shelbyheinrich/things-millenials-think-gen-z-needs-to-stop