Don’t Fall for the Skinny Jeans Side Part Drama

Millennials and Gen Z are on the same side

Photo by lan deng on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard the news. Millennials’ skinny jeans and side parts and love of the cry-laugh emoji are out. Not only out, they’re old.

If you have a side part and skinny jeans, you probably also have a grandchild, memories of ’90s Taco Bell interiors, and maybe a 401(k).

So say the Gen Z teens on TikTok, provoking a rash of memes and tweets from their millennial counterparts responding “This means war!” and back-and-forth mockery of styles, hobbies, and whatever else we can get our hands on.

Pump the brakes, y’all.

I think, first of all, we all need to acknowledge that jeans suck.

And on a serious note, I want to remind you that millennials and Gen Z are on the same side.

Discourse about our aesthetics only serves to distract us and create a rift between our generations. We cannot afford that rift. We need to stick together, because the revolution does not care about your style or your side part.

Combining numbers, millennials and Gen Z outnumber Baby Boomers. (Actually, we outnumber Gen X + Baby Boomers + older generations all put together). And the older generations know we are out for the blood of corporations destroying the environment, harming workers, and upholding white supremacy. Fighting about jeans only serves the white patriarchy (stick with me).

I’m coming for the Baby Boomers, once again.

I’m coming for Mitch McConnell (who was born in 1942 therefore making him part of the Silent Generation, though he is anything but). For the Baby Boomers in Congress, which has an average member age of 55+. For our parents and grandparents who swear up and down they had it just as hard as we did, but experienced a vastly lower cost of living, and turn around to shame us for not being further along in life.

This comparison of 1975’s cost of living (adjusted for inflation to 2015 dollars) compared to the cost of living in 2015, is staggering. Particularly interesting is the median income, which was higher in 1975 (adjusted) than in 2015. Yet college costs more than doubled, the price of a new car doubled, and houses are about a year’s salary more expensive.

Thank goodness eggs and milk are cheaper now! We are saved.

cost of living chart
Source: David Stockman, MyBudget360

Where are the Boomers in charge of decisions like student loan forgiveness, climate justice, healthcare? These issues that will continue affecting millennials and Generation Z for decades, while Baby Boomers don’t need to worry about the long-term health of the climate? They’re sitting in Congress making decisions that line their pockets.

And what’s happening to young people? They are seeing first hand that those in Congress do not care about the working class, the young people, the families impacted by the pandemic. We are about to see a generation of young voters radicalized to take care of those around them, engage in mutual aid and protest, and speak the language that Mitch and his ilk are terrified of and won’t admit it: ballots.

With grassroots organizing, political education, and efforts to end voter suppression and reform the election process, we’re setting this generation up to be true change makers.

Meanwhile, millennials are running for Congress (a LOT of us — a 266% increase in millennial candidates from 2018 to 2020!). And when they get there, leftist millennials like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scare the shit out of the GOP by advocating for beneficial programs like the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, student loan forgiveness, and a host of other benefits for the people, rather than corporations.

Gen Z is engaging with campus organizing through organizations like the Sunrise Movement for climate justice, and UnKoch My Campus, which supports grassroots activism on and off campus to disrupt Koch-funded university think tanks and research centers that are actively fueling the climate crisis and producing biased, climate denying research.

Gen Z is out here getting it done.

All this to say, no matter what Gen Z says about your jeans, do not engage with the us vs. them mentality.

Gen Z is going to fundamentally change our world, and we can choose to help pave the way for that or we can decide to continue the age old tradition of saying, “You don’t know the half of it, kid!”

I implore you, be generous to Gen Z. Celebrate them.

They’re amazing. The explosion of gender identity, queer identity, social activism, engagement with breaking down the status quo… it’s inspiring. It’s gorgeous. It is an exercise in generational trauma healing. The kids are alright because we’ve made it safe to be themselves after being raised by those who stifled us.

We, as millennials (I will share credit with Gen X), are raising these incredible kids.

If you’re raising a Gen Z child, pat yourself on the back, and part your hair wherever you want.

The kids are always going to think we look old. The fun part about being in our thirties now is that we do not care what others think. Even the cutting-edge, world-changing Gen Z. They’ll be old one day too, and side parts will be back in.

Read this to get more pissed off

Enjoy this post? Check out my book, which will help you feel like you are not a crazy, entitled millennial. Each chapter breaks down something society says millennials are fucking up, and then I debunk it, reassure you that you’re not destroying everything, and offer advice.

Some updates: I really hedged my bets and said capitalism isn’t the problem — this is a lie, it’s capitalism. Also I got my gender wrong in chapter 8. ENJOY!

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