When it comes to deciding what’s cool and what’s cheugy, millennials and Gen Z are rarely ever on the same page. Aside from agreeing that The Office is the best show ever, the two generations are on opposing ends about almost everything else—fashion, beauty, Instagram poses—you name it. The younger generation seems to be on a mission to correct the previous generations’ wrongs, while the older generation feels like they crawled so Gen Z could run. Still, it seems like some of Gen Z’s novel ideas are rubbing off on their predecessors. Below are three Gen Z trends that millennials are finally embracing.
3 Gen Z Trends Millennials Are Finally Embracing
1. Prioritizing Mental Health
With cases of anxiety, depression and even PTSD spiking over the course of the pandemic, it’s no wonder mental health has been a scorching hot topic these past couple of years. And while millennials were certainly the generation that advocated for the recognition of mental health disorders as real issues, a survey by the American Psychological Association revealed it is Gen Z-ers who are more likely to report their own mental health as fair or poor and do something about it. But even though millennials—especially older millennials—sometimes have to reconcile with the stigma behind seeking help for their mental health, they are taking some notes from Gen Z. A study conducted by Deloitte found that millennials are gravitating toward companies that promote a work/life balance as well as support employees’ physical and mental health, proving that the younger generation’s initiative to seek help is rubbing off.
2. Embracing Body Positivity
While the negative effects of Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms is undeniable, on the other side of that emerged the body positivity movement, which was largely heralded by Gen Z, a generation that came of age in the digital era. Unlike millennials, who were constantly fed monolithic ideals of beauty—skinny, flawless skin, flawless hair and often Caucasian—Gen Z had the option to curate the type of images they wanted to see. From plus-size models to influencers who make art out of their armpit hair, the unrealistic images of beauty are slowly, but surely being shattered. Millennial celebs such as Lizzo, Mindy Kaling and Ashley Graham have become icons of the movement, with the "Truth Hurts" rapper even making a TikTok video urging people to make sure the movement isn't co-opted and remains focused on empowering "big women, big Brown and Black women [as well as] queer women."
3. Using Informal Email Sign-offs
Millennials are well aware of the dilemma of deciding whether “Sincerely yours,” or “Yours truly” is the best way to sign off an email. One seems a bit desperate, almost (ironically) insincere; the other seems too impersonal, perhaps not showing enough interest. Regardless, presenting yourself as a professional has always been the goal. Gen Z is not feeling that. For one, they’re not even into email as much as older generations, opting for Google docs, Zoom or iMessage instead. When they do turn to Gmail for correspondence, Gen Z is not at all bashful about keeping things lighthearted and fun, using sign offs such as “Hasta la pasta,” “Hehehe, bye” or leaving the choice entirely to the recipient with, “Insert pleasantry here.” While millennials may find this to be shocking, even off-putting initially, as more and more Gen Z-ers enter the job market, it's only a matter of time before they loosen up also. "I think some of the funny ones like 'Hasta la pasta' and 'Please hesitate to call' are OK," says Yasmine Perez, an NYC-based, 28-year-old graphic designer. "They sort of break up the monotony of work life in a weird way. The harsher ones though, should be reserved for like your work bestie or something. It'd be crazy to send that to a client."