Millennials: arguably the most shat-upon generation of any prior. Many of us were just entering adulthood during the Obama-era recession — only to financially recover in time to be walloped by a global pandemic.
We’ve spent our lives being called entitled and lazy, chided by Boomers who would rather blame our imposition on a penchant for overpriced avocado toast instead of taking accountability themselves: accountability for the Social Security we’re paying into (that we will surely never see), accountability for the dying planet we’re inheriting, accountability for all the beautiful wood floors they so needlessly carpeted over!
And on top of this, now we have to deal with Gen Z’s derision, too?
Well, as it turns out, yes. Yes, we do. And you may not like me for saying this, but… they have a point. Don’t worry! I’m not going to tell you to ceremonially burn your stretchy denim or stop using certain emojis. But I also have to ask — if you are clinging tightly to these things, why?
Is it the trauma of outliving a fashion era defined by True Religion and Paris Hilton? Recovery from an adolescence outfitted by the low-slung skirts of Abercrombie & Fitch? A lifetime stubbornly spent searing your hair into side-part submission with a CHI flat iron? A “Girlboss feminism” hangover? Arthritis from T9 texting? Was it Britney, bitch?
Maybe it’s all of the above.
But I ask you: is change that bad? Are you so defiantly digging in your heels that you’re missing something… dare I say it… better?
Stay with me. There’s nothing wrong with the way you part your hair, but there’s also nothing wrong with evolving with the times. I tried curtain bangs and a center part… and ended up looking way better! Because I was open to something new, a single haircut took five years off my face.
“There’s nothing wrong with the way you part your hair, but there’s also nothing wrong with evolving with the times.”
Yes, trying on new jeans when I’d spent five years relying on the same pair of Frame Le Skinnys was… a chore. But it forced me out of my complacency. Now, instead of one pair of jeans I loathe wiggling into, I have five pairs — of different lengths and leg openings — that flatter my frame infinitely more.
Oh my God. Gen Z saved me from a wardrobe I’d unknowingly built entirely around leggings.
So, yes. I think being open to new things is important, even if it’s where you part your hair. We may be Millenials, but we aren’t old and shriveled up yet. Don’t put yourself out to pasture over a pair of pants. If you’re not careful, age can make you hunker down in opposition simply because something is out of your comfort zone.
Relish in the privilege of getting older, I say — but remain young at heart. And if that means trying on some new jeans, so be it.
Below, a survival kit for those of us who choose evolution. To the rest of you: Godspeed. May your elastic swaddle you in solace.
Le Skinnys set aside, Frame still makes great jeans: I’m liking their True Straight and Le Bardot Flare, both of which fit really well (true to size). The flares give you endless legs, and hearken me back to an era defined by brands like Hudson — but I assure you, the waist sits at a perfectly appropriate place on your torso. The True Straights are a total classic, made from more rigid denim that holds it all in. Plus, the leg is slim enough for those of you who don’t want to step too far away from your skinnies. The Shopbop sale is in its last moments, a great time to scoop up styles like these.
Here’s another great alternative pair of jeans at H&M, of which I have two: on one, I kept the hem intact and on the other, I cut the hem and ran them through the dryer to give them a little worn-in fray. Hard to beat at thirty bucks.
Then there is the contentious matter of where to part your hair. To which I say: whatever flatters your face! However, you’d be remiss to not at least try a new part — you might surprise yourself. I did! Thanks to quarantine, I’ve conquered the at-home blowout: I invested in a Dyson Airwrap, which is everything you heard it is and more… but only if you teach yourself how to use it, and it’s got an awkward learning curve.
When I want really bouncy volume, I head straight for the old-fashioned hot rollers. (These were good to me for five years before giving out, now I have these). They give me that good 90’s supermodel volume.
While we’re on the topic, a few other quick-hit beauty tips I’ve picked up from TikTok: soap brows (achieved with Brow Freeze) are everything, slugging is actually a great way to combat winter skin, and Cerave is (still) great. Oh, and claw clips, I missed you! Welcome back.
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