My greatest fear is being laughed at by a Zoomer. Some people fear death, others pain. I fear the face a 16-year-old makes when I mispronounce the word ‘cheugy’, which is a descriptor for the type of deeply uncool Millennial
behaviour that constitutes my life.
Some weeks ago, Zoomers, also known as Gen Z (i.e those born after 1996) decreed that skinny jeans and side hair partings were no longer cool. I have been in a crippling state of self-consciousness ever since. What am I to do with the seven pairs of denim pants I own, all of which are tapered at the ankle? Must I throw them onto a fire? Yes, I must!
Skinny jeans are out, according to Zoomers.Credit:iStock
Zoomers have come of age. They have turned 21 and if trends are to be believed they will have celebrated by kicking back with some close friends, sous viding a steak and watching impossibly attractive strangers plug products in the form of dance on TikTok.
Why am I afraid of these people?
They probably eat more avocados than Millennials. They’ll never know the courage required to bounce on an open trampoline knowing full well it could dislodge one-to-several bones from their rightful place in the body at any given moment. They have no idea that every decade of their life henceforth will just be them complaining to their barista about their irritable bowel and musing out loud if Turkish delights are low FODMAP.
Zoomers know less than they think they know! But before you call me a bitter and increasingly out-of-touch geriatric Millennial with digestive issues – which I am – know this: Gen Z knows more than we think they know. A lot more. And they’re not afraid to fight for what they believe is right.
Zoomers have been leading the charge on sexism in schools and climate action.Credit:Steven Siewert
In Australia, Zoomers have been leading the charge on sexism in schools and climate action. This week up to 100 students at an Adelaide high school walked out of class to protest against what they say is the school’s sexist culture. They demanded an apology from those in charge over their lack of action and a revised school-wide approach to sex education. I watched this unfold like a proud aunt [insert cheugy cry-face emoji here].
Also this week in the US, a Texan high school valedictorian went off-script during a speech to attack her state’s abortion ban, a move that went viral on social media. The Pew Research Centre found American Gen Zers to be progressive, educated, pro-government and more accepting of diverse ethnicities, sexualities and genders. They are significantly more comfortable than other generations (including Millennials) with using gender-neutral pronouns for example.