As a millennial who turned ten in the year Y2K (that’s 2000 for all the young folks), I feel somewhere smack-dab in the middle. I love all the benefits of being able to carry a pocket-sized computer with me, aka my phone. But, I also long for a simpler time. I guess that’s the difference from generation to generation. As much as we tell Gen Z about how great things used to be, they’re ready to show us how much better their versions of things are.
Y’all know what I’m talking about. Gen Z loves to cancel everything that Millennials love and hold dear. Like my skinny jeans. Though I do see some of the wider leg styles from the ’90s are back, and I’m not even that mad. Or my avocados. Honnnnay. It took me 12 years to discover guac — you’ll have to pry that out of my cold dead hands. Most recently, I’ve heard Gen Z doesn’t want to celebrate my subpar gardening skills either. Do you have any idea how hard I had to work for those tomatoes?! I grew them, also forgot to water them often, but they’re organic … doesn’t that count for something?
I’m not gonna lie — on some level, I totally get it. Gen Z sees the bullshit millennials went through (are still going through). We grew up with Boomers’ values, but not their economy or housing market. Millennials were sold the ‘American Dream’ by the generations before us. And yet, try as we might, most of us still haven’t gotten there. Gen Z is infamous for not taking anything too seriously. I mean, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying (Oh, I totally feel that). But I have to be honest, with this whole no bullshit, tell-it-like-it-really-is attitude they claim, there are a few things I’m shocked they haven’t canceled yet.
The Following Gen Z Fixations Have Got To Go. Sincerely, A Millennial Friend
I’m as guilty as anyone for indulging in a season or two. Though I never got legit invested in it the way some people do. Mostly I like to watch the first night for the glamorous dresses, the obnoxious introductions, and well, that’s about it. I get the drama can be entertaining. Even though this franchise faced a massive reckoning this past year, isn’t it still kind of weird that we first, expect one man (or woman) to simultaneously date multiple people, on public television? Secondly, expect this entire courtship to go down over the course of just a few months and end in engagement? It’s never felt right, or particularly healthy for the people involved. So, let’s 86 that. (Oops, my age is showing again, isn’t it?)
Toxic Diet Culture
Thin is in. Thigh gaps are hot. There is beauty in bones. These are the toxic diet-isms I grew up with in the late ’90s and early 2000s. But just because the conversations now have changed to say curves are everything (but only certain kinds of curves) doesn’t mean it isn’t still toxic.
Here’s a thought: how about we just let people be who they are and look how they look? Like, what is the point of working for a certain aesthetic instead of just living your life to the fullest? The last time I checked, hitting a specific waist to hip ratio didn’t guarantee more happiness for anyone. It doesn’t matter if the diet culture is fixated on a slim body or a more voluptuous frame, the toxic part of this culture is tying our worth and happiness to our body size. Y’all. Stop the madness.
Glorifying Emotionally Abusive Relationships in Pop-culture
First, we had the Twilight series (which is streaming on Netflix, btw). Which inspired The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. For real, did y’all know that the 50 Shades was originally Twilight fan fiction? Pretty damn wild to make the jump from team Edward to Christian, but to each their own. But, it didn’t stop there. We now have 365 Days (again, on Netflix) and the After series. What do they all have in common? They romanticize toxic (at best) relationships where gaslighting and emotional manipulation are not only normalized, but held up as romantic.
All Y’all New Aged Folk (Gen Z), What Are Your Thoughts?
As someone who grew up with all of the above, I totally get it. Some of these things are basically cornerstones of society. Things that are so deeply buried it almost feels sacrosanct to even suggest they’ve got to go. But honey, they’ve got to go. Will people be resistant to change? Of course they will, but the challenge is half the fun.
As much as you criticize basically everything else, I’m shocked that somehow these have missed your radar. So come on y’all. Get on your Instas, TikToks, and Youtubes (is that a word? I’m making it a word) and give your audiences some food for thought. There have been significant criticisms of most of these things, but it hasn’t been enough to cancel them altogether. So, please, indulge a millennial friend and cancel these things ASAP.