Sorry Katy Perry, but Gen Z is saying goodbye to the “golden coast” (and it’s Atlantic sister, too)! Interestingly, young people are flocking to the Midwest to make a home. The top 10 most popular metros for mortgages, according to theMReport, are Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Nashville, and Kansas City. Notice a trend? Six of the ten least popular locations are in California. Though many young people may be renting in well-known “super-cities” like Sacramento and Miami for summer internships or gap years/short-term opportunities, it appears the affordability of the Midwest makes it better to settle down in. This trend of migration to midsize cities has been seen across generations, though, with The New York Times’ TheUpshot finding net migration (of working-age college graduates) declining most in New York City and Los Angeles and increasing most in Phoenix and Austin. The pandemic accelerated movement out of large metropolitan areas, with many choosing comfort and space over accessibility to work and in-person experiences. A Redfin report showed that 25.1% of house hunters looked to find a new city in February, up around 7% from pre-pandemic. Workers 18-34 are 59% more willing to quit than their older colleagues if the opportunity for hybrid work is taken away. The opportunity for flexible office experiences makes young people more likely to choose a working location for its assets, rather than its proximity to one’s job.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost is constantly exemplifying Gen Z. The first national politician from our generation is always, well, acting his age — from .5 selfies of his breakfast sandwich to blasting “The Sims” soundtrack. Now, Frost is engaging in a digital (and IRL) battle against Ron DeSantis. The Congressman joined the band Paramore onstage at their D.C. show to sing “Misery Business.” A week after lead singer Hayley Williams told fans, “If you vote for Ron DeSantis, you’re f*cking dead to me,” Frost exclaimed, “F*ck Ron DeSantis! F*ck fascism!.” In a Twitter response, he wrote, “I said what I said.” The Representative also Tweeted about an inflammatory Fox News article, calling them “pure comedy.” With DeSantis announcing his candidacy for president on May 24, and recent culture war battles over everything from “Disney” to drag queens, the politician has been a topic of discussion. Before and after the concert, Frost has been a critic of DeSantis’ conservative political opinions. As for the concert, I’m as green-eyed as @prozac_pr1ncess: “I wasn’t there. a congressman joined paramore on stage and i wasn’t there.” Jealousy is not a good look on us.
Let’s talk about Gen Z’s Wes Anderson obsession. Anderson is an American filmmaker with a unique film style. Movies of his — like “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The French Dispatch,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “Isle of Dogs” — are instant cult classics. His work can often be recognized from a single image, due to his memorable symmetry, (symbolic) color grading, and anachronistic sets and props. Anderson’s style and plotlines have made him popular among young people. Two audios from “Fantastic Mr. Fox” went viral in late 2021 and early 2023, with over 173 thousand total videos made. @wesandersonplanet on Instagram has over 550 posts of “Wes Anderson looking” photos users have taken. Again in April and May, a “you better not act like you’re in a Wes Anderson film” trend made its way around TikTok (though this trend had some haters, it was near-entirely movie geeks mad at creators’ lack of filmmaking skills). So, what about his style that captivates young people? His work is nostalgic and bright while also exploring emotional depth. Marissa Wu of PureWow wrote, “Cinema is escapism, no? Well then, a film by Wes Anderson is a different type of reprieve. One where every detail is thoughtful and immaculate, and in the end, you know everything turns out all right—with humor to spare. … With everything going on in the world, plunging into another one, where everything is quite literally picture perfect, is enticing.” Anderson’s creations are deep while also containing loads of biting humor, a combination made for “comfort movies.” Who can resist throwing the phone somewhere, making a bowl of popcorn, and diving into a flawlessly executed, visually pleasing movie?
Apple released their newest product on June 5: the Apple Vision Pro. It is a “special computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world.” Essentially, it functions as if your phone was the world around you and the home screen was the real world. Users can also be transported into destinations from around the world. The Vision Pros will be available in early 2024 for a whopping $3,499. Though the technology is admittedly revolutionary, Gen Zers outside of the tech bro space memed on the Vision Pros pretty quickly. @thefrenchnugget Tweeted, “There is like a whole movie on why this might be a bad idea” with a photo of “Ready Player One.” @nappingbeauty posted asking, “did we learn nothing from black mirror?” On the less dystopian side, Gen Zers also joked about the first thing they would watch with the Vision Pros, from the iconic “Real Housewives” fight to a testy “RuPaul’s Drag Race” argument to the queen’s SuperBowl performance. Now, how long before a software update that breaks the old versions?
Emma Seligman hopes her newest creation is like “‘Wet Hot American Summer’ but for a more Gen Z queer audience.” So, what exactly is she referring to? Her film with Rachel Sennott, “BOTTOMS.” Releasing in August of this year, it follows two unpopular LGBTQ+ teenagers who start a fight club in order to elevate their popularity and date two gorgeous cheerleaders. Soon, the popular girls join them in beefing. It’s reported to be “But I’m a Cheerleader ” meets “Fight Club,” and I’m on the edge of my seat to watch this. With @FilmUpdates’ Tweet of the first poster’s release, young people agree on one thing: “we’re so f*cking back.” @icecoldhill responded, “They will save us all,” while @cafeteriatrayluvr posted on TikTok with the “this is my ‘joker’” audio. Even though there has only been one trailer released, thousands of edits have already been made with fans’ favorite characters. This is also a great campy movie for the quarter of Gen Z that identifies as LGBTQ+. Rather than centering the plot around coming out of the closet or making “period pieces where they barely speak to each other,” “Bottoms” increases queer visibility without erasing the lived, contemporary experiences.
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ He was the best guy around … except for the murder. For those morally grey figures, use this trending audio. If you’re a defender of anything, pitch your case with one of these videos!
✨ Plans change. This audio captures them. Users talk about career changes, but also their partners, popularity, and religion.
Screenshot of the Week
We’ve hit June, which means it’s officially Hot Girl Summer. @sharyahrenee Tweeted about the struggle of entering the “school and cold are both over now!” phase. Becoming *that girl* is not easy — take notes.