fashion

"Why do you post... everything?" I asked my 'elders' what they don't understand about Gen Z.

Gen Z.  

Apparently, we're a strange bunch.

More than once I've found myself going about my typical Zoomer business, TikTokking and the like, when it hits me. 

Me and my elders aren't particularly "on the same page."

Side note: Check out Mamamia's fashion crimes - festival chaps edition. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Like when my grandma needed me to explain to her what "doing me a solid" would consist of (it means doing a favour, besties.)

Or when a coworker mentioned in passing that "I forget people were born after 2000," and I had to bite my tongue as a (I'm cringing just typing it)... 2001 baby.

So, to make life easier for us all (Nan, this one is for you!) I decided to answer all your Gen Z FAQ's in one place.

Now, you too can understand our ~culture~. 

Why do you post... everything?

Oh, don't pretend like you don't love it.

There's a whole list of reasons we post everything on social media, the main one being: we're addicted to the attention.

There, I said it.

Gen Z were literally raised by technology, and the addictive nature of social media while growing up an insecure teen is a deadly combo for over sharing. 

I mean, did you even watch that doco that went wild back in 2020: The Social Dilemma?

Zoomers who don't post everything on social media deserve a medal for the restraint they're exercising. 

Do you HAVE. NO. SHAME?

Simple answer: No.

Yes, we'll break out into a TikTok dance literally anywhere. 

We might even post about our favourite sex toys here and there, too.

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I think it's fair to say most people go through a cringeworthy stage in their young years where they lack all self-awareness, and it just so happens that the eldest member of Gen Z right now is a mere 25 years old.

So can you really blame us?

Age aside, I think Gen Z have also let go of 'shame' (as much as anyone can) as a concept. 

Gen Z culture is the perfect combo of 'undone' and woke. So we know shame is very often placed on young women for our sexuality and our boldness and have said f**k it to that.

You should listen to Mamamia's podcast for Gen Z, The Undone. Post continues below.

Are you speaking another language?

Sort of.

There's a lot of Gen Z terminology you really only learn from trawling TikTok so to give you a quick recap:

Cheugy: you know this one, come on.

The ✨sparkle✨ emoji: Used to put emphasis on a word, often ironically or to add some ✨sparkle✨ to something that might not be so good. E.g. "I am ✨chronically tired✨".

👁👄👁: Use this sweet emoji combo when you're truly lost for words. Often found in the comment section of obscure TikToks or a wild conspiracy theory post.

No cap: AKA I am not lying. Can be substituted with the 🧢 emoji if you prefer. E.g. "My boyfriend broke up with me. No cap."

Bestie: Everyone. Everyone is Gen Z's "bestie" and it's often used to soften the blow when you're telling someone something that don't want to hear. E.g. "Bestie, I hate to tell you this but your shirt is inside out."

Dead: If something's really funny, "I'm dead". Deceased. 💀. All synonyms.

Iykyk: If you know you know. 🤷

"Ice in my veins": I found myself really struggling to describe this one to my colleagues because it's fairly open to interpretation. In short, Gen Z will use two fingers to point to the veins at the inside of their elbow to indicate "truth".

It's like a symbol for "no cap". But in case you're still confused, watch this TikTok I made for a better explanation:

@emmagillman7


♬ Hayloft - Mother Mother

Periodt: Full stop. End of sentence. E.g. "Emma Chamberlain (Gen Z icon, keep up ladies) is an icon. PERIODT."

Miss Rona: Short for coronavirus. But she's a cute gal, obvi!

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Why do we use all lowercase?

Look, I don't know the answer to this one. I'm a writer and I don't love this Gen Z trait.

If I could speak in defence of the lowercase letters though, it does give off a certain careless vibe.

Think: i'm too busy for capital letters. you don't deserve my grammar or my time. 

How much time does it take to capitalise? None! None at all!

...Let's retire this one, besties.

How do you pull off crop tops and sweatpants so well?

Firstly, thanks! Appreciate this one!

Secondly, we're all about comfort. 

Sweatpants are oh so comfy and a fitted crop combo is super flattering. Particularly when you're on the later age range of the Gen Z scale. 

Another Millennial put this question a bit differently, asking: "Why do you like such ugly clothes?" and look, you're not wrong, and again, I come back to comfort. 

Have you worn a pair of Crocs recently? You should.

Young people are lucky in that most of the things they wear can come across as trendy if they pair it with confidence. 

Take Addison Rae repping y2k fashion, for example:

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Yeah, it might be a lil ugly. 

What are you gonna do about it?

Photo Dumps. Explain.

My boss asked me "why it's cool now to post a sequence of pics that's like, your left nostril, a chic flower arrangement, and a close-up of your wine glass."

Okay Millennials. Surely you had some sort of MySpace equivalent?

'Photo dumps' are how hip zoomers really make Instagram their own. Often utilised after a busy weekend, Gen Z will drop a bunch of obscure photos in an Instagram carousel. Like:

It's cool because it's so unhinged.

See also: why we type in all lowercase.

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My fellow Gen Z bestie, Charlie Begg wrote a fantastic piece about the other ways Gen Z use Instagram, so if you're really trying to blend in, you should check it out over here.

Do you have any other questions for Gen Z? Let me know in the comments below (or you can slide into my DMs @emma.gillman, I'm an avid Instagram user if ya didn't notice!)

Feature Image: Supplied.

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