"We're taking the ugly back." I'm from Gen Z, and this is why we cancelled skinny jeans.

Content warning: This post contains discussions of body image. 

Hi, I'm Emma, a typical Gen-Z-er, and I hate skinny jeans

Loathe them. Couldn't despise them more, really. 

If one good thing has come out of 2021 so far, it's that we - the activist, tech generation - have cancelled them. And oh boy, it's made a bunch of millennials really angry.

Watch: What millennials are afraid of. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

But wait! Before you discard us as daggy and judgy (yes, we read those comments you make about us on Instagram), I urge you, please hear me out.

We see you... As an important disclaimer, I want my lovely coworkers, mentors and older friends to know that I think women's fashion is far too criticised and if you find a style and shape of pants that works for you (yes, even skinny jeans) you should wear them - out and proud - no matter how many young people you have to walk past on the way.

This should not be a debate that takes place between women who, understandably, feel hurt for this sudden attack on a "timeless" piece of clothing.


But I have a bone to pick with the old skinny jeans, and it's always a good day when you work at a media company and they hand the mic over to you as the resident Gen Z expert to share the "young" perspective. 

I'm 20 years old, which means for the majority of my teenage years, skinny jeans were all the rage. 

Among other questionable fashion items, but that's an article for another day.


May they rest in peace.

At the height of my cringey, 12-year-old existence, pairs of ultra tight skinny jeans or shorts were peak fashion, and it was a trend that survived all my weight fluctuations of growing up and going through puberty.

The. WEDGIES. If you've ever worn a pair of skinny jeans, I'm sure you can see where this is going. 

Body image is hard enough to deal with as a teen. Squeezing your changing body into the unforgiving material that is tight denim can be a nightmare. 

I still have chafing, wedgie flashbacks. 

An issue that all women can relate to is the deeply emotional response that comes with "sizing up" in a piece of clothing.

But when you're in your early teens, spending late nights trawling through photoshop-ridden social media (that has absolutely no "real" #pubertylife pics included), you feel alone. Super alone. 


Pimply, 15-year-old me rocking my skinny jeans with UGG boots.  When I think back to those days, I remember jumping into my skinny jeans and praying the button would hold my stomach in.

I remember the denim cutting up and into my insides and being constantly aware of the wedgie greeting anyone who dared to look at my very trendy fashion statement.

Women's. Bodies. Were. Not. Made. To. Squeeze. Into. DENIM.

TEEN'S. Bodies. Were. Not. Made. To. Squeeze. Into. Denim.

People give Gen Z far too much s**t for our poor fashion sense, and I actually get it! Baggy jeans are not very flattering for most people, but you know what they are? A hell of a lot more comfy. 

So we're taking the ugly back.

To the sexy skinny jean-wearing women who got caught up in the cancellation, we LOVE you. We love your style. And the last thing we wish this to be, is an attack on women. 

This is an attack on the patriarchy and its expectations of women that mean dealing with discomfort makes you more stylish. 

Skinny jeans to me are the 21st century equivalent of corsets. And no one likes corsets. Well, Kim Kardashian does, but we don't all look like Kim Kardashian, do we?

Toss your skinny jeans, or don't. Gen Z don't really care. 

We just won't be copping the discomfort anymore.

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