“Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by Gen Z.” This is the rally cry in the war Millennials are waging against Generation Z (Gen Z).
Age jokes are a staple in modern humor. We roll our eyes when our grandparents start their stories with “back in my day,” and they make critical comments about what the “kids are up to these days.”
This generational divide is normal. However, the feud between Millennials and Gen Z has reached new degrees of intensity.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials include anyone born between 1981-1996. Those in Gen Z were born in 1997-sometime in the early 2010s. That means Millennials range from 25-40 years old, and Gen Z are around 10 years old-early 20s.
With Millennials no longer making up the young generation that dictates the trends, a culture clash is now taking place between the two generations.
The main points of contention seem to be side parts in hair, skinny jeans, and the use of the crying-laughing emoji. Gen Z has moved on from these trends, favoring middle parts, mom jeans, and a skull emoji (among others) to express when they think something is funny.
The slang and sayings of the Millennials such as “adulting,” “don’t talk to me till I’ve had my morning coffee” and “I did a thing” have also been deemed quite cringe worthy by the younger generation.
As I said before, this is a natural change that takes place between each generation. However, many Millennials have taken to the internet to express their disdain for not only these new trends, but for Gen Z as a whole.
“You’re 12! You don’t know nothing! I don’t even care about your opinions!” said user @averagefashionblogger in a TikTok criticizing Gen Z.
An emotional uproar is currently taking place primarily on TikTok amongst Millennials, with many making content similar to @averagefashionblogger.
However, verbal tirades just don’t seem to be enough for these heated millennials. Many have taken to expressing their feelings through the power of song.
“Hey Gen Z you can suck it/You can’t tell me what to wear/Cause I’ve been rockin’ this side part/Since you had Kermit on your underwear,” sang user @sarahhesterross.
A specific criticism I often hear from Millennials is that Gen Z’s trends are invalid because they are just re-popularizing trends that they invented. This is a reference to how the trends of the '90s have made a notable resurgence amongst teens and young adults.
However, these trends that Millennials like to take credit for: baggy jeans, crop tops, scrunchies, etc. were not invented by them, but by generations before them. They did the same as us, which is re-popularizing a trend. It’s what each generation does.
To these Millennials that claim that Gen Z’s opinions are irrelevant and you couldn’t care less, is it so clear that you do. And it’s time to move on.
You are no longer the younger generation, so yeah, the trends you like are no longer considered “cool,” it’s a natural part of becoming an adult, or in your words, “adulting.”
This hostility seems so uncalled for. Millennials made fun of the older generations, notably Boomers, so why can’t they accept this same phenomenon? Why do they seem so desperate to earn Gen Z’s approval?
It seems that Millennials miss the spotlight. They used to be the youngest generation that got to decide what was cool and were the most talked about in the media. That focus has now shifted to Gen Z, with an internet presence more influential than any generation that has come before them.
I will say, I am in Gen Z, so clearly that influences my perspective on this dispute. However, I think it is fair to say that this feud has become quite ridiculous, and I hope Millennials can learn not to take Gen Z’s mockery too personally. After all, it is just a hair part.