T-minus 4 days until the World Cup final, and this competition has been one for the ages. France will potentially break the “winner’s curse,” while Argentina could give Messi his first World Cup trophy. Gen Zers have been obsessed with tracking the competition as it progressesm as well as fangirling over their favorite players. South Korean Cho Gue-Sung has been the subject of a scarily large amount of thirst trap edits, while football account 433 has gained millions of followers since the competition begun. Young people have also commented on the racism at games, the camraderie between players, and Mbappe’s dancing skills. Gen Z amounts for 22 percent of the tournament’s total global viewership, in part due to the social media discourse it has seen. Instagram notes from Wednesday’s game included “All my homies hate France” and “Vive la France.”
It’s not Halloween anymore, but Gen Z is still in the spooky spirit! The release of Netflix’s “Wednesday” has conjured up nostalgia and witchy vibes for young people worldwide — so much so, that it has become Netflix’s third most watched show of all time. Of course, the internet immediately fell in love with the series. Influencers styled Wednesday, drew the character, and modeled her dance from one of the show’s scenes. The latter went immediately viral, with stars like Kevin Chamberlain and the Old Gays participating. Even the love-to-hate Trisha Paytas chimed in with her take on Wednesday. Jenna Ortega, who plays Wednesday, has been in the Gen Z spotlight since her role on Disney’s “Stuck in the Middle” back in 2016. The internet fell back into love with her from “You” and “X.” Though Netflix has not announced a renewal yet, fans are hopeful due to its star status. Until then, I’ll be dancing the “Wednesday Dance” over and over!
Whether you loved “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (EEAAO) for its absurdism, incredible filmography, or dope kung fu scenes, the film was an instant hit. The A24 movie’s star, Michelle Yeoh, is a contender for the Golden Globe Awards’ “Best Actress” and has joined an adaptation of the musical “Wicked.” But, more than her accolades, Yeoh is known for her magnetic energy. Recognizing this, TIME Magazine named her “Icon of the Year.” Yeoh is both a multigenerational and a multinational star — her roles in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “EEAAO,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made her a legend for all ages, while her accolades in Malaysia, the US, and China bought her a global spotlight. Young people find Yeoh an “icon” due to her candid discussions on racism in the industry, her BeReal-taking ability, and her MILF-ness. If she won the “Best Actress” award at the Academy Awards, she would be the first Asian woman to do so. One thing is for certain: no matter what pursuit Yeoh finds next, she’ll forever be an icon to Gen Z and beyond.
It’s time for Indonesians to “Shut Up,” according to these students in the country. Action “Shut Up” (#TolakRkuhpNgawur) in which young Indonesians post a picture with their palm covering their mouth, is a reaction to the new criminal code. This legislation prohibits talk against the president, anti-government ideology, abortion or contraception talk, and sex or cohabitation before marriage. Other hashtags used are #SemuaBisaKena (“All can be,” referencing how anyone can be targeted) and #TibaTibaDipenjara (“Suddenly in prison”). Indigenous or Muslim Indonesians face discrimination under the law, as many live together while using non-official marriage proceedings. Indonesian activists have also pointed out Western media’s focus on the “sex before marriage” portion of the legislation — something that pales in comparison to *basically* every other part of the criminal code. A post from @studentbeans asked if young people would remove Bali from their bucket list. @0rchestrative Tweeted, “the way how western media mentions “banning pre-marital sex” in almost every of their news headlines … shows just how much they only view Indonesia (moreover Bali) as a tourism attraction rather than an actual country.” Hopefully, protesters are able to achieve their demands.
Are you normal or are you addicted to adding events to your Google Calendar? Zillennial Leila Hormozi’s Tweet about her stacked calendar (and $200M portfolio) led Gen Z Twitter users to poke fun at, well, Hormozi’s lack of fun. @GdoubleWB replied, “I’m 27 years old. And I recently made $200M. This is my daily routine:,” with a Cal saying “rob this b*tch.” @quakerraina Tweeted in response, “I’m 25,” with a Cal empty but for “all-day: Change invisalign.” Young people agreed that having every minute of their day planned out would be a nightmare. The excess of “meaningless” daily calls, compared with the small amount of actual work time, scared Gen Z. My Cal would look something like “9-5: Create elaborate fantasies in my head; 6-1: Binge K-dramas.” To each their own, I suppose.
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ Instagram notes are here, and I am feeling very “The Slap” about it. You can post a note to your Close Friends list or your mutuals, with a new note removing the previous one. This feature is similar to messaging platforms of the early 2000s. Time to get a Pear Phone!
✨ Are you an emoji lover or hater? No matter what your feelings are, the “tell me only using emojis” trend is perfect for brands. ExitLag asked followers for their favorite video game, while the GRAMMYs polled user’s favorite performances. My favorite newsletter in emojis: 📱📸
✨ I don’t want to name names but … To call out someone on the DL, use this audio on TikTok. It has been used to talk about horror movies, autism, and YA novels. Get ready for some intense tea-spilling!
Screenshot of the Week
$150 tickets … in this economy?? @jordnsworld spoke for all of Gen Z in their Tweet about concert ticket prices. If I’m paying more than a full day of work to see an artist, it better be incredible.
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Rihanna has had a heck of a year. From having a baby to winning a “brand disruptor award” under Savage X Fenty to joining the Forbes billion list, she’s living rent-free in our minds right now. To add to her accolades, Rihanna will be headlining the Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show — a performance attended by 103.4 million viewers in LVI. Gen Z, who grew up on Pon de Replay and fell in love again with Diamonds, immediately went to the internet to express our excitement. Comments mainly were about her long music hiatus and her focus on Fenty during the break, as well as predicting the setlist. On TikTok, @jordan_occasionally guessed, “When Rihanna performs a mashup of every single hit in her discography and ends … with a NEW SINGLE and then she announces a tour and the entire world is changed forever.” There are already Spotify playlists with user’s set ideas. Rihanna’s announcement post, depicting her holding onto a football, has been replicated by brands. For example, Teddy Grahams Tweeted “must be teddy grahams on the brain,” riffing off of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” JUV also posted our own version! This template is easy-to-replicate and bound to be a touchdown with followers.
As we enter October, it’s time to don a witch hat and buy some candy corn; Halloween is coming! Unofficially Gen Z’s favorite holiday, the day is an excuse to wear something out of the ordinary and reinvigorate our youthful spirit. Of course, it’s also a time for brands to give their pages some fall energy. SpongeBob posted their own version of Hocus Pocus and Cinnabon jokingly asked “how is it november already.” Our generation is back to posting Spirit Halloween memes as the holiday approaches. Rachel Elizabeth Tweeted “the spirit halloween store is home goods for hot goth girls” and Pumpkin Spice Rat Tweeted “My talking stages have been lasting less than a Spirit Halloween takes to get set up.” Anything Halloween- or fall-related will immediately attract young people, so prepare your October mood boards!
On September 27, young people took to the streets to demand change: this time, against Virginia’s Governor Glenn Youngkin. Youngkin’s proposed mandate that students use facilities according to their sex assigned at birth and receive parent approval for pronoun changes has faced much criticism in-state and nationally. The Human Rights Campaign’s statement says: “Glenn Youngkin has repeatedly used his platform to promote anti-equality and anti-choice policies that are out of step with the views of everyday Virginians [and that] blatantly stigmatize and isolate our most vulnerable children.” The protests amassed 10,000 advocates from around 100 Virginia schools. Youngkin’s policy is a stark difference from his predecessor Ralph Northam, who allowed students to use whatever names and gender they wished. Along with protesting, students are attending school board meetings to testify and push back against the proposed changes. More than 18,000 online comments have been posted so far. These rallies are some of the many occurring nationwide in light of “Don’t Say Gay” bills and other restrictive policies. The human rights of trans and nonbinary youth should not be up for debate.
With falling leaves and pumpkin spice comes the NFL. And, of course, fantasy football. In 2017, there were 59.3 million fantasy football participants, and the number has only increased since then. Around 50% of this demographic is between the ages of 18 and 34. Where Gen Z has the most fun is in fantasy football loser punishments. From running while eating Wendy’s to getting a spray tan, our generation is coming up with the craziest retribution for last place. Brands can connect to this network by connecting games or players to the product or suggesting punishments that the company could provide. For example, pancake stores (which are often used in forcing losers to stay for 24 hours) could offer discounts or football-themed items. Whatever route is chosen, taking advantage of young people’s love of football will increase engagement.
Looking for a sign to get back to the gym? The fitness attire company lululemon is debuting its new app, lululemon Studio, on October 5. They will offer over 10,000 virtual classes, as well as free in-store workouts, discounts on apparel, and early access to lululemon events. Members pay $39 per month for the package and $1,495 for the required mirror, though they will offer a mirror discount of almost 50% on the release date. Studio’s hybrid model of both online and in-person workouts is a new idea that is likely to bring the campaign success. Though lululemon’s apparel is popular amongst Gen Z, the hefty price tag on the Studio may keep them away. The hashtag #lululemonhaul has over 438 million views and their feed is full of young people modeling their athleisure wear. Lululemon’s Instagram post about the Studio is full of excited comments, mainly from older folks. Either way, I need one of these, ASAP.
✨ IYKYK ✨
✨ It’s time to BeReal … on your TikToks! Viewers are looking for authenticity and out-of-the-box posts. Emily Feret, a “hot mess mom” with over 1 million followers, created a platform of authentic mothering. Duolingo’s hilarious videos — about Taylor Swift, legal teams, and Wattpad, have given the account almost 5 million followers. However cliche, it’s crucial to be yourself!
✨ “rip emily dickinson you would have loved champagne problems.” “RIP eddie munson you would have loved deftones.” “rip benjamin franklin, you would have loved lizzo.” Pair two unlikely things by connecting a product with a fictional or historical individual. RIP Deadpool, you would have loved this meme format.
✨ Does Sway have the answer? Use this trending TikTok sound to show something you or someone else argued about, and then your mindset when they realized the other person was right. Admitting you were wrong is okay if you’re using this audio!
Screenshot of the Week
Gen Z is being shot back into the early 2010s with some recent drama within the Try Guys, a group of ex-Buzzfeed workers trying literally anything. Ned Fulmer, one of the four members, publicly left the platform on September 27 after having an affair with a coworker (both were married). Fulmer’s affair was discovered when a fan recognized him and the woman at a Harry Styles concert. Of course, we have some thoughts.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that it is Fashion Week in New York right now. Perhaps the most chaotic time of the year in the city, the air is filled with excitement, high energy, and a love of fashion. I took a stroll through the Lower East Side and ended up at a street-DJ event hosted by Zack Bia. A lowkey, intimate, relaxed gathering, all attendees showed up dressed to impress. Most of the people who showed up seemed to be between the ages of 18 and 25– the perfect spot for me to inquire about Gen Z’s fashion habits and thoughts on New York Fashion Week.
Nearly every person I talked to seemed to have the most unique, authentic style. I asked a few different attendees how they would describe their personal style, and garnered answers such as, “Loud and obnoxious… but cute and functional”, “Comfort-first”, and “A reflection of my mood that day”. It’s clear that Gen Z very much expresses themselves through their fashion, and looks to dress ergonomically and practically, as well as make a statement about themselves through their clothing.
When asked about their thoughts on NYFW, attendees had a lot to say. Some had nothing but positive things to say about the event, noting how fun the whole week was, from afterparties to fashion events. “The whole week is really fun. Everyone steps out fitted and is just excited to celebrate the art of fashion. I’m here for it,” one individual noted.
Others pointed out some of the downsides to the week. “It’s fun for sure… but it all kind of feels like a big competition… what shows are you invited to? What afterparties are you going to? It’s all really exclusive so sometimes it bothers me,” an interesting take from another Gen Zer.
My next question I went around asking was “Who are the Gen Z style icons?” Getting various answers ranging from “Bella Hadid”, “Billie Eilish”, and “Zendaya” to social media presences like Evita Nuh, Luka Sabbat, and Molly Blair, it became clear that our generation is drawing inspiration from a range of sources. “I get a lot of my fashion inspiration from social media, like TikTok and Instagram mostly,” one of the gals I talked to mentioned.
Trying to gauge more regarding what exactly matters to Gen Z when it comes to fashion, I asked those I was surrounded by to tell me what they look for in a clothing brand and what qualifies a brand as a place they would shop. The answer I received overwhelmingly was surrounding the importance of sustainability. Several individuals noted that their highest priority is making sure the clothes are sustainable and not fast fashion. “I try to stay away from fast fashion as much as I can… by thrifting or even making my own clothes, honestly. It’s just really important to me to do as much for the Earth as I can”. Pleased to hear about our generation’s enthusiasm for sustainable fashion, I packed up and left the event, with what I felt like was a bit firmer grasp on Gen Z’s thoughts on Fashion Week and fashion in general.