Greenwashing is embarrassing. Similarly shameful is the number of companies that partake in this practice. With young people calling on companies to actively advocate for social and environmental changes, many brands have taken the easy way out in their advocacy. However, Gen Z is not putting up with it. Taylor Swift was put under fire earlier this year regarding her 170 private jet trips and average flight time of 139 miles per flight in 2022. On TikTok, #climatechange has 5.3 billion views, and #greenwashing has 119.5 million. Brands that have been called out are Volkswagen, McDonald’s, Nespresso, and Walmart. The newest company to be exposed for greenwashing is Delta Air Lines. Delta is currently facing a class action lawsuit regarding its “carbon neutral” advertising and promotion, which was launched in February of 2020. The legal action was filed in California targeting their statement regarding being the “world’s first carbon neutral airline” — allegedly, it’s mostly junk offsets that do not affect the climate crisis. With 90% of JUV’s Receipt network understanding what it takes to be a sustainable brand, and 61% regarding carbon neutrality, Gen Z is diving into the nitty-gritty of climate-forward policies.
The end of May marks the culmination of two quintessential 2023 TV shows — “Ted Lasso” and “Succession.” The former is a sitcom show inserting a coach of American football into a British soccer team. The latter is a dark comedy about the heirs of an international media conglomerate. Though the two wildly popular shows’ plots largely differed, fans of each had a common struggle as they came to an end. Since the last episode dropped, fans have discussed emotional Easter eggs, TedBecca, and Toheeb Jimoh. @tattooineobi Tweeted, “just finished watching the ted lasso finale” with a video of “Family Guy”’s Stewie Griffin crying in bed, which is basically all of us now. As for “Succession,” defenders of each character — Roman, Kendall, Connor, and Shiv (often the actress rather than who she plays) — had their moments online. @nocontextroyco overlaid the company logo on a pride flag to jokingly commemorate the month of June. Funnily enough, the two shows both have actress Harriet Walter, whose advice was the same: “just sell the d*mn thing.” Until “Black Mirror” and “The Summer I Turned Pretty” drop their newest seasons, TV fans will be parched of content.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, began working with Adidas to manufacture shoes almost a decade ago. In October of 2022, the athletic wear brand terminated their partnership with the rapper. He was put under review after wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt, then officially removed from their team after saying, “I can say antisemetic sh*t and Adidas cannot drop me” and threatening to “go death [def] con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” Since October, the company has allegedly taken a $540 million windfall and been sued by its stakeholders for “routinely ignor[ing]” Ye’s antisemetic comments — the plaintiffs assert action should have been taken as early as 2018 when the rapper claimed slavery was a choice. Instead of accepting that their extended tolerance of Ye’s hateful speech would cause them economic harm, Adidas instead decided to sell all of the Yeezy stock they had, as normal. The company has stated a “significant amount” of profit will go to organizations including the Anti-Defamation League and the Floyd Institute for Social Change. It is unclear how much specifically will be donated. Ye has become a joke among the majority of Gen Z, with edits of Jonah Hill, memes of his outfits, and posts of silly moments abounding across social media platforms. With greenwashing and corporate pride a current topic of discussion, Adidas’ actions are yet another example of performative activism.
With June, we enter Pride Month. The culture war’s prevalence has dampened this celebration. A Twitter post by Lauren Elena Witzke, the Republican nominee for Delaware’s Senate seat, spelled out Pride Month with the letters DE MON emphasized. The original post was humorously copied by thousands. Some of the responses included Pride Month (RIDE ON), Bible (BBL and BL), Crucifixion (RU), and Jesus Christ (HRT). The intense negative commentary surrounding LGBTQ+ identities is harmful to many — especially the 20.8% of Gen Z that identify as queer. However, those within the community are seizing posts like Witzke’s as an opportunity to find fun and joy in a dark time.
One of the artists that defines Gen Z is Lizzo. Coming into stardom around 2016, when the average Gen Zer was 13, she has grown with us over the past several years. The “Truth Hurts” singer took to Twitter to call out fatphobic individuals last week. Following posts by @layahheilpern and @keeiiir that insinuate that Lizzo has an unhealthy lifestyle, she dropped a series of eight Tweets expressing her frustration. Lizzo stated, “BEING FAT ISN’T MY ‘BRAND’ … My ‘brand’ is FEEL GOOD MUSIC … CHAMPIONING ALL PEOPLE … BLACK GIRL LIBERATION.” She compared the responses to *her* feel-good and disco pop music and body positivity to reactions when “everybody on that wave.” The hate Lizzo receives on a daily basis pushed her to limit her Tweets to followers only. On TikTok, the singer made a video saying, “Everyone has been wondering, ‘What has Lizzo been eating?’ … The whole United States is up with this Yitty haul!” Amid the negative noise, Lizzo is serving positivity, always.
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ With her “Dance the Night” song from “Barbie” out now, Dua Lipa is thriving. A clip of “Levitating” is going viral. For companies with brand mascots, this is especially applicable.
✨ “Dance Moms” lives rent-free in Gen Z’s mind. An audio of Abby Lee Miller is making its way around TikTok. If you’re unemployed, hungry, dirty, or sad, this sound is for you!
✨ What’s your beige flag? Beige flags are quirky traits that rest between a green and red flag. TikTok users are identifying their beige flags with this audio.
Screenshot of the Week
90% of (the 42 percent of) Gen Z diagnosed with a mental health condition have anxiety. Thus, discussions around this struggle resound with many members of the generation. @bankingslut Tweeted about anxious thoughts. Relatable much?!