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"Gen-Z's Guide to Culture" by SaraJane Devereaux

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

We hear people of past generations using people to define the music, culture, and way they lived in that period of time. “When I was young, we wore our jeans on our hips.” “The Beatles were very popular when I was a young adult.”

I sometimes wonder: “Who defines my generation?” “What fashion statements have got to go?” “What does our generation do that others didn't?” And I’m going to answer those questions. First of all, who defines our generation?

1. Amanda Gorman, 23- we were all taken by storm when we heard Amanda Gorman read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. She was the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration and showed little girls all over the country that we can do whatever we put our mind to. She has recently published her poem in book form. She was recognized by Time as one of their “100 Next list” and had her profile written by musical writer and phenomenon, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Her Instagram is @amandascgorman

2. Olivia Rodrigo, 18- In early 2021, we all heard the song “Drivers License” and whether we’ve had our hearts broken or not, we had a connection to this song. Rodrigo not only wrote the song about a famous break-up, she wrote the song alongside Daniel Nigro, who has worked with other names like Conan Gray, Lewis Capaldi, and Carly Rae Jepsen. She recently released “Deja Vu,” and “Good 4 U”. Her debut album “Sour” will be out May 21st. Her Instagram is @oliviarodrigo

3. Billie Eilish, 19- The singer of hits like “Ocean Eyes,” “All The Good Girls Go To Hell,” “everything i wanted,” and more recently, “Your Power,” is definitely an artist worth highlighting. Eilish was only 13 when she and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, released songs like “She’s Broken” and “Fingers Crossed” on SoundCloud. She’s gone on to win 7 Grammys, among many other awards. Her newest album, “Happier Than Ever”, will be released sometime in 2021. Her Instagram is @billieeilish

4. Chloe Kim, 20- American Snowboarder, Chloe Kim, has won 6 X-Games gold medals, and was the first woman to win two gold snowboarding medals at the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Her Instagram is @chloekim

5. Lil Nas X, 22- Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, and one of the faces of our generation. Lil Nas released his song “Old Town Road” in early 2019. By summer 2019, everyone had heard this song at least four times. He brought Billy Ray Cyrus on for a feature on the track,

which rose to greater heights. Lil Nas X has recently released his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. He is openly gay and was the first openly LGBTQ, African American person to win a Country Music Association award. His Instagram is @lilnasx

6. Millie Bobby Brown, 17- The Actor, Model, and Producer made a name for herself on the hit show “Stranger Things.” She has received two Emmy nominations and two SAG Award Nominations. She was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential people in 2018. She has made guest appearances on shows like NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey's Anatomy. Her Instagram is @milliebobbybrown

7. Malala Yousafzai, 23- activist for female education, influential person, and feminist. She was the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She was shot while on a bus and the reasoning was related to her activism. Instead of stopping in case of a second assignation attempt, she created the Malala Fund, continuing her activism. She will always be known for her unconditional love and strength. Her Instagram is @malala

8. Zendaya, 24- She is an actress known for Spiderman: Homecoming, Spiderman: Far From Home, The Greatest Showman, and Euphoria. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In a Drama Series for her work on Euphoria. She was the youngest person to win that specific Emmy. Her Instagram is @zendaya

9. JoJo Siwa, 17- Youtuber, Dancer, and Singer, Siwa has broken so many standards of what girls are supposed to be like. She has shown to young girls all over the place that you can be whatever you want to be and that you can love whomever you want to love, unconditionally, and without limits because of judgement. She came out as queer in January 2021. Her Instagram is @itsjojosiwa

10. Conan Gray, 22- Conan became a songwriting legend overnight when his song “Heather” blew up as the song that people related to in the sense of wishing you were the person your past partner is now dating. He has broken male stereotypes by showing up in music videos and live performances wearing a skirt. He has stated that Taylor Swift is his biggest inspiration. He has won a shorty award for Best YouTube Musician. His Instagram is @conangray

What are our fashion choices?

● We LOVE baggy jeans, I’m not sure where it came from, but we love them!

● Bucket hats

● Retro mini skirts

● Cow print anything

● Scarf tops

● Middle Parts (hair)

● Dyed front pieces (hair)

● Scrunchies

● Hair claws

● Oversized Hoodies

● Retro Sunglasses

● Platform sneakers

Why do millennials attack us?

Generation- Z young adults are still learning how to do things. Recently, I’ve been on any social media platform and someone is talking about how gen-z kids think we’re “better than the generations before us”. That’s false, we don’t think that. But we are the most inclusive, acceptive, and forward thinking generation, so I’m sorry if we’re different. But other generations have to understand that most of us have grown up in an entirely different situation than the generations before us.

What is online confidence?

Our generation has to deal with an entirely different beast than others did. I call this “online confidence.” I’ve had friends text me something that I know they would never say to me in person, straight to my face. That’s online confidence. We’re confident online, and do/say things we would never say in person. That can be draining and toxic. I think that our biggest flaw as a generation is our online confidence and the fact that we don’t have great verbal communication skills.

Why is cyber bullying not talked about?

While we weren’t in person for most of the 2020-2021 school year, Cyber Bullying was so much worse. People commenting on others posts, DMing them things that they don’t actually mean, just because we’re all trapped in our houses and on edge. Fights between so many people sprouted due to the political issues showing up all around us, and a war was started over social media, leading to more fighting and one side of the political mad and hateful. It also lead to a deadly insurrection in the capital. Since we’ve been raised in the generation of social media, we saw this. If social media wasn’t a thing, things like this insurrection and cyber bullying wouldn’t be so hightented.

A note to the generations after us:

Take care of our world. It’s dying, and we’re trying to create a better environment. Create a world where it doesn’t matter what you look like, you just have rights galore. Make sure that women are heard, listened to, and treated equally. Make sure that minorities are represented and their culture is celebrated. Oh, and stop judging each other!

SaraJane Devereaux (Pronounced: Dev-Er-Row) is from Las Vegas, Nevada. SaraJane has a passion for reading and tends to read almost anything she can get her hands on. She has been making up stories for a long time, between telling stories with a pencil and paper or acting it out in front of her family, she's a storyteller at heart. Right now, SaraJane is focused on writing what her heart wants, but she wants to be a screenwriter as her career. She has been published on Blue Things Zine, Feed Us With Words, and SAST, just to name a few. She hopes that the world realizes that it's okay to still be obsessed with Hamilton in 2021. ​


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