I know what you’re thinking. Ok, boomer…
Not even close. I live with four Gen-Z’s, but since I’m with them all the time I’ve never experience one in real life. According to the charts, by birth I’m a millennial, but I tend to hover between Gen-X and Gen-Y. I was born at the very beginning of the millennial generation in 1981.
But since I live with a part of the Gen-Z population, I’m fully exposed to what they bring to the table. My oldest is only 13, so I’ve only seen the younger side of this generation. Sure, I’ve watched tiktoks and reels on Instagram, but those are all staged. Yikes
With everyone staying close to home these days, my people watching habit has taken a major hit. I love going places to observe others in their natural form. It’s fun to guess their story or even listen in on conversations at restaurants. Now that tables are so far away, it’s harder to hear them spill the tea. *insert smiley face emoji*
Recently, while getting my hair cut, there was another younger girl at the salon with me. We were both getting color put in our hair, hers was a platinum blonde, while I needed to cover the grays to maintain a “youthful” look. So while my hair was processing, she was in the chair.
As she was talking and interacting with our hairdresser, two things happened: I felt old and grateful.
Oh, the middle part and baggy jeans…
She was a quintessential Gen-Z. While she sat there behind her mask, I could tell I was in the presence of someone in their late teens/early twenties. Here’s where my observation skills hit hard. She walked in from the other room with her hair midway down her back, wearing high waisted, baggy jeans getting ready to get her color rinsed. I mean, I can’t even. Her drip is iconic.
After her hair was washed, the haircut began, if that’s what you want to call it. My hair dresser literally cut maybe a small handful of hair because this style is fire. When she began brushing out the girl’s hair, she questioned her part. “Do you normally part it slightly off center or in the middle?” With no hesitation, she’s said definitely middle.
The more and more I sat there inadvertently watching this whole scene unravel before my eyes, the less interesting my phone became. I was so sus.
Watching my daughter and her friends just hits different, so I don’t notice all the subtleties. Seeing a Gen-Z out in the wild was surreal and fun to see the differences in our generations.
The Generational Gap Is Real
It wasn’t till this 90’s country song came on that I knew we were in the middle of an anomaly. My hairdresser mentioned she hadn’t heard this song in forever and the girl was like I don’t know even know if I’ve heard it before…
But wait, here’s the kicker, when my hairdresser said it was Leann Rimes, the girl responded with, “Oh, my mom listens to her.” Insert dead emoji
In 1.2 seconds, I went from being interested in watching this Gen-Z in front of my eyes to aging about 20 years.
After she walked out with her platinum blond hair, baggy jeans and tight crop top, it made me feel both old and grateful.
The outfit she was sporting was seriously close to something I owned in high school except replace mine with overalls and a body suit and it was basically the same thing. Ah, the circle of life.
I’m pretty sure I had a similar conversation with my mom about styles coming back, the first time I wanted a pair of flare cut jeans.
Boy, am I grateful that I’m at an age where all I want to be is comfortable in my own skin and not having to worry about current trends. I was exhausted just observing the Gen-Z in her natural environment.
Literally, there is nothing wrong with these kids. All in all, it’s just fun to see how trends come back full circle. Now if I could just get the lingo down, it would be slaps.
Are you able to find all the Gen-Z slang? Bet.