The rivalry between millennials and boomers has been a tale as old as time, but now it looks like there is another cross-generational clash that’s heating up, as millennials are singing their frustrations away at Generation Z TikTokers for “cancelling” things like skinny jeans and side parts.
Since millennials got wind of the fact that some Gen Z-ers over on TikTok were less than enthusiastic about their penchant for skin-tight jeans and side parts, they responded in the only way they knew how: with elaborate musical parodies.
Bizarrely, dozen of these kinds of parodies have popped up, but one of the most popular is by musician Sarah Hester Ross. In a since-deleted TikTok, she can be seen composing a song on the keyboard, which includes lyrics like “Hey Gen Z you can suck it, you can’t tell me what to wear.”
ma’am this is a Wendy’s pic.twitter.com/ldBIIF06d3
— ً (@intersteIler) February 27, 2021
Another popular TikTok response aiming to put the Gen Z-ers in their place was by user Brandy Coble. In her video, which has also since been deleted from the platform, she can be seen parodying the song ‘God Bless the USA,’ with lyrics including the now heavily-memed line: “And I’m proud to be a millennial, with my side part and skinny jeans.”
Why do these women see one girl who’s younger and hotter than them and immediately turn into weird al yankovic pic.twitter.com/eWFVaStVgh
— Hello? Answer me (@horse_feedbag) March 6, 2021
Unfortunately, these parodies didn’t exactly get the reception these millennials were looking for…
How did Gen Z respond to these parodies?
A lot of Gen Z-ers appeared to be largely confused about how the beef even started in the first place, with one Twitter user saying in response to Ross’ parody, “literally no one cares if you have a side part of wear skinny jeans.” Another user added that “no one in Gen Z actually cares about what millennials are doing or wearing, they just like to victimize themselves and have the attention on them all the time.”
Other Gen Z-ers were puzzled by the fact that millennials’ response to the beef was to start making musical parodies, with Twitter user Adam Koplick asking: “Why do millennials always break out into song when they’re upset?”
“It’s the High School Musical in them,” another user responded.
…….literally no one
not a single person
not one vessel of life
cares if she has a side part or wears skinny jeans.
— princess bean but kinky (@shutupandhugmee) February 28, 2021
Even fellow millennials were embarrassed by the beef, with several of them refusing to “claim” the music-makers. A self-described “resident zillennial” on Twitter said that they “will be identifying as a zoomer until millennials stop being embarrassing,” while one millennial Tweeted: “Even if they are cracking jokes on us, why should we be concerned about kids making jokes on us?”
Over on TikTok, some Gen Z-ers decided to get even by making musical parodies of their own. One especially popular parody, which was made by actor and comedian Ryan Ken, begins with insistence that despite being born in 1989, he’s “still the special baby,” before going into lyrics such as: “I’m a white lady with no business to mind, so I thought that I would go drop some rhymes.”
What is the millennial and Gen Z “culture war”?
It all started with the humble crying-with-laughter emoji. In a blog post on Emojipedia in late January, Jeremy Burge claimed that the laughing crying emoji was now considered out-of-fashion for members of Generation Z (people who were born on or after 1997) on TikTok. He said: “It’s common wisdom on TikTok that the laughing crying emoji is for boomers. And by boomers I mean anyone over the age of 35.”
From there, word got around on TikTok and Twitter that the popular emoji was now being “cancelled” by Gen Z-ers, which in turn enraged millennials. Adding to their rage, throughout the month of February, several videos by Gen Z TikTokers have gone viral for appearing to mock what they deem to be classical millennial behaviour.
One viral TikTok, which was by user ‘Lady Gleep,’ boldly declared that “there is not a single person that looks better with a side part than they do with a centre part.”
Around the same time, another TikTok, by user ‘momohkt,’ also went viral. In a mock tutorial where she tells people how to style skinny jeans, she suggests that people throw them out, repurpose them or set them on fire. To each, their own, I guess…