OPINION: Skinny jeans and side parts are out the door and so is a relationship between generations


Smart technology helps one fashion consultant keep her clients looking smart. (NAPS)

Fashion, an ever-changing industry that tries to convince the average person that your entire wardrobe must be able to change at a drop of a hat. Unfortunately, your favorite pair of shoes that you wear all the time may become hideous and out of date at any time. Some such unfortunate examples of dearly departed fashion trends are the mullet of the eighties, the bell-bottoms of the sixties, and the dreaded whale tail of the early two-thousands. 

Fashion trends come and go. This is a part of pop culture. However, these fashion trends have never caused any severe backlash, until now, that is.

Skinny jeans, a once dominating staple of the average teenager’s closet, and side parts, a classic and once-popular hairstyle, face the end of their trendiness life span, but not without a fight. 

Through the popular social media app TikTok, Generation Z has painted a detailed picture of the stereotypical millennial over the past year. This stereotype includes the excessive use of the crying laughing emoji and the word “doggo” and an almost unhealthy obsession with franchises such as Disney and Harry Potter, as well as, of course, wine, lots of wine.

However, the most crucial image that a typical millennial exudes is that of an individual who loves their skinny jeans and side parts. This particular portrait of a stereotypical millennial has stuck around for a while and was actually perceived as “correct” from the generation, particularly during the summer of 2020 when an anti-millennial tweet of a TikToker’s comment went viral. 

The comment included such statements as, “They’re worried about their Harry Potter house, but they live in a one bedroom apartment… y’all worried about the wrong houses,” which is a painfully accurate statement.

A good-humored response to the millennial depiction was not to last. An article in The Walrus by Silja Rizvic titled “Everybody Hates Millennials: Gen Z and the TikTok Generation Wars” completely changed the conversation. Millennials started taking the stereotype personally, particularly regarding the concept that their skinny jeans and side parts were considered hopelessly uncool. 

The original tweets associated with the attack were lighthearted and clearly meant to be taken as jokes. One such tweet by Twitter user Maya Kosoff was, “parted my hair down the middle due to my recent understanding that this is a gen z trait and had the horrible realization that it just makes me look like rick from Degrassi.” 

Unfortunately, some responses were not as lighthearted. Becky Vieira tweeted her response, “Hey Gen Z. I’ve faced infertility, PPD and suicidal thoughts, had my abdomen sliced open during childbirth & peed in a diaper. I pay a mortgage, work, and school my kid in a pandemic. It’s cute that you think I have time or f*cks to give about what you think of my hair and jeans.” 

The difference in severity in both responses went from 0 to 100 real quickly. The thing is that the later tweet was most likely written by an exhausted person who has been hit relatively hard by the current state of the world. However, they are not the only one who has problems. They are taking this way too seriously. 

No one is attacking you, and it’s not that personal.

The original TikTok videos and comments that started this controversy were by a bunch of kids who were simply having fun teasing older people, you know, like kids do. Fashion and popular culture are some of the only things that younger generations, like gen Z, have a major influence over, so they’re going to exploit it. Of course, skinny jeans would not be seen as “fashion-forward.”

Also, it’s not like the entire generation is anti-millennial. The generation has been shown to support millennial celebrities and public figures hard. 

Generational divides have existed for as long as there have been older and younger people. Old people have always been seen as being stuck in their ways and behind the times, while younger people are seen as rude and spoiled because “back in my day…”.

Not only has this been going on since the dawn of time, but this controversy is barely even controversial. Does no one remember how older generations have insulted millennials by calling them self-centered and narcissistic? Or that they were described as having “Peter Pan syndrome,” meaning they didn’t want to grow up?


Countless times they were blamed for failing industries because, as a whole, they didn’t want to buy certain products. Kate Taylor’s 2018 article “18 Industries which are being killed by Millenials” shows that Millennials have been attacked so much that they think everyone is against them. 

Generation Z may not be perfect, but it is important to remember that gen Z has fought some hard battles. They’ve tried to defend themselves and millennials through movements such as “Ok Boomer,” which was a way of fighting back against the boomer generation as they often dismissed the thoughts and ideas of younger people, 

It is so easy to dismiss other generations. Still, it is essential to remember that we are all fighting the same fight and that we all want to be respected. So wear your skinny jeans and rock your side parts, it’s not that deep.