Dancing with the Stars: Gen Z’s newest guilty pleasure

The Screenshot: Week of September 7

TL;DR: Gen Z on DWTS, Britney Spears resurgence, new music “hits different,” old game gets new life, get well soon to this meme star, astrology, new drink dethrones Pumpkin Spice Latte, and can we really stop climate change?


1) What’s the newest Dunkin’ x TikTok star collab drink that Gen Z is loving?

2) How’s Gen Z going wild for the new season of oldie TV staple Dancing with the Stars?

3) Why’s millennium teen pop icon Britney Spears suddenly beloved by Gen Z?

4) Which 46-year old geeky video game is seeing a rise in Gen Z popularity?

5) Who’s the actor who’s become a superhero meme that Gen Z hopes get better soon?

6) Why’s Gen Z not paying $30 for this (problematic) remake on Disney+?

Scroll for Answers

Your A to Gen Z

Hit Different

1. This phrase is used when a Gen Zer comes across something mind-blowing. In the words of Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 it.
2. Also, the name of Gen Z icon SZA’s newest song that we’re loving… and
yeah, we’re gonna say it – it just hits different! 


We’re at a point now where half of Gen Z believes that climate action will only blunt the worst impacts of climate change rather than eliminate it altogether. Years of inaction and continued passivity towards the climate issue has led to a reality where we are forced to refocus our goals—do we prioritize greed or going green

We need the answer from our leaders quickly, because we have just 10 years left until irreversible damage will have destroyed parts of our planet. (For perspective, Instagram launched 10 years ago.) We simply don’t have time to wait around. 

But despondency is not Gen Z’s path forward; we’re rallying together. Amongst us is Isra Hirsi, the 17-year-old daughter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who co-founded the US Youth Climate Strike and has just been recognized by Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list for her climate activism. We’re demanding strong action not only from the governments of all levels, but from corporations, too. We know that if we don’t fight for the cleaner, greener future we need, then there will be no future to live for. Our priorities are set straight—are yours?

Group Chat

TL;DR: Gen Z asks “What’s your star sign?”

No longer the reserve of kookie hippies, there’s a burgeoning Gen Z fan base emerging around astrology. And it goes deeper than just adding “Aquarius ✨ “ to your Instagram bio. Fullscreen discovered that a quarter of Gen Z said astrology could influence their purchasing decisions and more than a third said astrology gives them sense in an otherwise chaotic world – sounds pretty accurate! It has fed the surge of astrology apps Co-Star and the Pattern, the torrent of social media accounts sharing astrology memes, and the upward search volume on Google.

So what’s behind it? Astrology superfan Gabe García says it’s the pull of “community, explanation and labels.” In a typical astrology stan’s mind, a star sign highlights a person’s temperament, personality and habits; it’s not a predetermined bias, but rather a map of who we’re likely to ~vibe~ with most. It also helps in mapping our identity, being pretty therapeutic and quite often it just gets you when you don’t yourself. I went through my full astrological profile this week, and wow, I was exposed!

Though the Fullscreen survey shows that almost half of Gen Z believe that astrology is not incompatible with religion, in a world where formal religious affiliation appears to be declining, astrology has definitely given Gen Z something more to believe in.

Check Out

Sophia Kianni

We’re not going to end this week’s newsletter without shining the brightest spotlight on JUV Consultant Sophia Kianni. Though she may only be 18, Sophia has built a decorated resume through her climate activism that you can only be in awe of. She founded Climate Cardinals, an international non-profit translating climate information into 100 (!) languages, been appointed as the youngest member of the UN’s Climate Change Youth Advisory group, and was featured in TeenVogue and Forbes. Sophia even has her own Wikipedia page and rubbed shoulders with the icon Jane Fonda – she’s officially the coolest person ever! Check out her Instagram, and her work at Climate Cardinals here.

Answers to Trending

1) The Charli. A collaboration between Dunkin’ and TikTok megastar Charli D’amelio. If you’re curious (and we know you are), it’s a medium cold brew with whole milk and caramel swirl. Missed opportunity to call it The Carmelio.

2) It’s down to the stars. They’ve bagged stars of multiple Netflix runaway hits like Carole Baskin of Tiger King, Chrishell Stause of Selling Sunset and Monica from Cheer. Also in the mix is Gen Z star Skai Jackson for good luck. We can safely say DWTS is relevant again.

3) Intergenerational icon Britney is currently in court to remove her father’s conservatorship. Incensed by the reported abuses of his power, Gen Z pushed the #FreeBritney campaign on TikTok, and she gave them a shout out in court documents. Wishing Britney all the best.

4) Dungeons and Dragons has become popular with Gen Z, but we’re playing it in our own style. The sticklers for the rules are out, the game being fun is in.

5) The new Batman star Robert Pattinson has contracted COVID, pausing film production. We hope he has a swift recovery.

6) After months of delay, Disney’s Mulan is now out on Disney+ for $30. Many Gen Zers are waiting until Dec 4th when it’ll be on the platform for free, and others are boycotting due to the lead actress’s support for the police brutality against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

talk to us, not about us.

Jawwad Mustafa is the Director of The Screenshot Newsletter. He’s always got a drink in hand - either peppermint tea, peach iced tea or a vanilla latte. If you see him with anything else, you’ll really need to vote for him as The Imposter. You can find his creativity on Instagram at @JawwadTheCreator.