The great debate: Millennials v. Gen Z



You may have seen it; TikToks, tweets and everything in between documenting an earth-shattering debate involving side-parts, skinny jeans and laughing emojis.  

The debate over who has the better style has become a trending topic on social media. From Gen-Z’ers “cancelling” Eminem for controversial lyrics to a millennial parody of “God Bless the USA,” it is easy to tell that both sides are serious.  

Castleton student Veronica Sargood identifies as a “Zennial,” or “someone who was born toward the beginning of Generation Z but identifies with millennials.” “I feel like Gen-Z is just trying to cancel anything and everything,” she said, referencing youth who recently discovered the 2010 Eminem song “Love the Way You Lie” and posted their appalled reactions to his lyrics. The song describes the cycle of an abusive relationship and is considered one of the lighter songs from the artist’s discography. 

Sargood also chatted about how Gen-Z describes millennial traits.  

“If you have a side part, you’re old. If you wear skinny jeans, you’re old. If you use laughing emojis, you’re old. You’re old. I have all of those things and I use all of those things,” Sargood added animatedly. 

“I think it’s funny,” she added, describing a TikToker she follows who made these jokes.   

Addison Rae, a popular TikTok star, has a side part. Many people of all ages have these stereotypes.  

On the other hand, some people support the Gen-Z side of things.   

“It makes me think of how every generation hates the younger generation. I remember when everyone hated millennials,” everyone, meaning the generations that came before them, such as Gen-X and baby boomers,” she said. 

Molly DeMellier, a 2014 graduate, former editor of The Spartan newspaper, and current communications professional, identifies as Generation X. 

Molly DeMellier, 2014 grad and former editor of The Spartan.

“I remember wearing flare pants soaked in water, Gen-Z, they’re going to struggle with what we went through,” DeMellier said with a smile. “I think this is something that happens with every generation. Something from the older generation that a newer generation finds old or weird. For my generation, it’s looking at the haircut of Rachel from friends … I think trends are pretty cyclical. Each generation is going to have their own.” 

And DeMellier had a warning for the Gen-Z crew. 

“Watch out, Gen-Z, the next generation, you’re going to have something that they think is ugly or old. So don’t feel too hot for too long, because it doesn’t last,” she said. 

Almost every website describing generation cutoffs has different years as their answer. One website will say the cutoff between millennials and Gen-Z is 1996-97, while another claims that those born in 2000 are millennials. With the lines so blurred between generations, another descriptor separating humans into groups, what is the point of this cycle? Will it ever end? 

“At the end of the day, it’s just a label. Don’t wear it with pride,” Sargood said. 

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