Are YOU a ‘tragic millennial’?

  • The global debate sees Gen Z questioning millennials’ lifestyle choices 

As a new generation reach adulthood and find their voices on social media, they are waging war on their older counterparts.

The global Gen Z versus Millennial dispute is heating up as the younger adults take to TikTok to denounce more and more of their older friends’ and family members’ preferences and traits.

The result is a ‘cancellation’ of things they believe characterise millenials – from their style choices to their interests. 

In response, millennials are clinging even more dearly to their favourite items of clothing and becoming more steadfast in their love of 90s literature and film.

Here, FEMAIL has collected some of the top signs you’re a ‘tragic Millennial’, according to Gen Z – and you might find you resonate with more traits than you realise…

FEMAIL has collated the top 'cancelled' traits and style choices that Gen Z insist make you a 'tragic millennial'

Being a ‘Disney adult’

A Disney adult is a common type of Millennial, where a given person has an extreme fixation on the entertainment company. If they’re not talking about Disney, they’ll be planning they’re next trip to Disneyland. 

Extreme forms of this type of person can lead to marriage proposals at Disneyworld with the groom donning mickey mouse ears as he bends down on one knee.

But for younger generations, who grew up on different forms of entertainment, understanding a deep-rooted love of Disney in adult life is difficult. In the view of the younger generations, a Disney Adult is seemingly stuck in a constant state of adolescence.

Self-proclaimed Disney adults can attract a stream of negative comments online. But millennial Disney fans have starkly defended their love of fairytales. 

In one video, a user asks others why they insist on making fun of Disney adults. He said: Why are you so mad that a 30-year-old enjoys it [Disney]?’

But many users flocked to the comment section to explain their reasoning. One person simply said: ‘Because it’s corny.’ While another added: ‘Because it’s cringe and I’m a hater.’

Wearing your sunglasses over your eyes

Jordan Harper, a Millennial from LA, has opened up a debate on TikTok about the correct way to wear sunglasses

One of the more recent online debates in which Gen Z have mocked their preceding generation was sparked by a TikTok video about the positioning of sunglasses. 

Nurse practitioner Jordan Harper, from LA, posted a video on TikTok in which her Gen Z friend mocked her for the way in which she wears her shades.

In the clip, which appears to be filmed at a pool outside the Beverley Hills Hotel, Jordan and her friend are sunbathing as the nurse practitioner jokes to viewers that she’s received ‘absolute bullying all day’ over her style choice. 

Through giggles, the pair bicker over how to best wear shades – with Millennial Jordan revealing she pushes them further up her nose, while her pal said she’s showing her age by doing so. The younger friend adds that Gen Z tend to wear their sunglasses lower down the ridge of their nose. 

Commenting on the video, viewers were left divided over the best way to wear their shades, with some saying they preferred the Millennial ‘dad way’ because it blocks out the sun, whereas others opted for the Gen Z style so they could show off their sculpted eyebrows.

Liking Harry Potter as a personality trait 

While Harry Potter is adored by many across the globe, individuals belonging to Generation Z, have differentiated between those that enjoy the fantasy novels, to the others that love it so much, they make it a personality trait.

The younger generation have developed a dislike for those Harry Potter fans that apparently take their love of the wizarding world a step too far. 

This type of millennial might refer to themselves as a ‘Potterhead’, defined as one who appreciates the series of books, the Potterverse, and the Wizarding World of Rowling to a fanatic extent.

Users have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on those that have made Harry Potter a personality trait. 

One user said: ‘I’m a big Harry Potter fan, but Gen Z is right.. y’all are weird for making your fictional house a personality trait.’ Another chimed in and said: oh wow y’all really still making your harry potter house your whole personality huh?? embarrassing.’ 

Side partings

Fighting back: Millennial TikTok users are taking digs at Gen Z after the younger generation mocked them for wearing skinny jeans, rocking side parts, and using laughing emoji

Fighting back: Millennial TikTok users are taking digs at Gen Z after the younger generation mocked them for wearing skinny jeans, rocking side parts, and using laughing emoji

At the height of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, social media users who had been cooped up in their homes for several months, began bickering over the tell-tale signs someone is a millennial.

According to the younger Gen Z, one of the biggest indicative signs someone is of an older generation is that they sport a side parting instead of parting their hair in the middle.

As the debate raged on, some millennials filmed themselves switching up their partings, but they ended up preferring their previous styles. 

TikTok user Bailey, a makeup artist from the US, posted a video on the platform which she captioned: ‘When you’re trying so hard to be “cool” and wear a middle part, so Gen Z accepts you… But you just can’t do it! Side part for LIFE!’

Wearing skinny jeans

Digs: TikTok user @ahope94 shared a video of herself briefly looking sad about her skinny jeans and side part going out of style, but then she remembered Gen Zers 'ate Tide pods'

As Gen Z began attacking millennials for their side partings, they also waged war over a staple many people in their late 20s and 30s have in their wardrobes – a pair of skinny jeans.

Once the epitome of style as teenage boys and girls (who are now well into adulthood) scoured high street stores such as Topshop for the latest designs and many had several pairs of the jeans in different colours, the style has now been shunned by Gen Z.

After the younger generation mocked women for opting for the more figure-hugging style a few years ago, this year has seen men ditch skinny jeans as well.

This spring, a TikTok trend saw men throwing away their skinny-fit jeans and replacing them with different styles as they tried to follow along with the new trend of looser fitting trousers. 

Using the crying with laughter emoji 

Taking to their preferred social media platform of TikTok, Gen Z decided in 2021 that the crying with laughter emoji, which millennials are known to use liberally, was over.

Millennials have since acknowledged the younger generations contempt for the emoji, otherwise known as the laugh cry emoji, but continue to keep it as an integral part of their text speak.

In one TikTok, a millennial attempted to explain the death of the crying with laughter emoji to people of her generation. She referred to it as ‘cheugy’, a term specifically created to describe the lifestyle trends of the early 2010s that have since been rejected by younger generations.

In the caption, the creator asked Gen Z users whether they truly believed that the emoji went out of style, and the response was clear. One user who was born in 2002 said: ‘Haven’t used this emoji in years, stopped around 15 or 16,’ he continued to explain that the preferred emoji choice to express laughter nowadays is either a skull, connoting being ‘deceased’, or simply just a crying emoji.


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