They say history repeats itself. While I could spew a list longer than a Stephen King novel of times where, politically, history has repeated itself and most certainly should not have, I am going to take one for the team and give a fair forewarning on the ways in which history will repeat itself as the horrific trends of "Gen Z-ers" resurface when we have children and grandchildren.
It need not be said that if you do not own at least four pairs of mom jeans and sweater vests, have a film camera that you bring everywhere with you, fantasize about living in a van at some point during your life and have a playlist titled “Oldies <3” with songs by Elton John and The Beatles, you are behind on the current trends. Every time I spend a whopping $60 on an Urban Outfitters sweater vest, my mom scoffs and reminds me that I could just have her old ones for free. Every time I order a Grateful Dead record off of Amazon, my dad rolls his eyes and questions why I don’t just look in his old pile of vinyls. The point is, hard as it may be, whether we like it or not, we have to face the facts: the trends that we worshipped like God and followed like Jesus during grades five through eight are on their way back to town. I guess I will be the one to warn you all what life will look like before we are all ready to give away not only everything we own from our middle school days, but our children too.
Picture this. It is the year 2056. Your daughter, Ivory, a sophomore in high school, and her three friends, River, Forest and Crystal, come back from a shopping day. They are all wearing extremely tight, skinny, black ripped jeans and a striped ribbed tube top over three layered Sugar Lip tank tops that are pulled down to their knees. Atop their heads are oversized bows resting on a high side ponytail with a hair feather sticking out. They all sport fake, black, oversized square glasses which they refer to as “hipster glasses.” Ivory inquires if you want to see a vintage tee she found at the thrift store. After hesitantly agreeing, she pulls out a Charli D’Amelio t-shirt. You begin to sweat but respectfully admire the shirt, although you are sure that it used to belong to the child you babysat in high school. River adds that, at that same thrift store, she scored four vintage records. Out the bag comes Da Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B and Travis Scott records. She asks if you know who these artists are. You turn visibly red.
Forest cannot help but intervene and make sure you hear about this cool new style of pants that she splurged on today. She pulls out a pair of jeggings, and describes for upwards of 10 minutes how “they’re just super unique because it’s like they’re jeans but also leggings.”
Crystal, feeling obligated to share her purchases, describes how she was in the market for shoes today. She managed to buy not only a pair of brown combat boots but also a pair of high chestnut Uggs. She made you, however, pinky promise to never say you saw the Uggs like that because it’s “only cool when they’re rolled over.” You feel a scream creeping up your throat, but manage to get words out instead. You ask the girls how much money they spent today. With a roll of the eyes, Ivory scolds you, insisting that she has been saving up “hella bank” in her Vera Bradley wallet which, by the way, has a compartment for her “vintage” iPhone 11, as well as her Baby Lips and EOS chapstick. Before you can get a word in, the girls strut off to Ivory’s room to “play this game called Subway Surfers and paint their nails with crackle nail polish.” They make sure to include that you “shouldn’t worry about it” because “it’s trendy” and you “wouldn’t get it.”
Truly, I am not here to scare you. I am just telling the cold, hard truth, and it just so happens to be frightening. Do not fret, though, I will be setting up weekly support groups promptly. Until then, it is not gonna be easy, but remember that we are all in this together.