Welcome to Trend University, your quick crash course on Gen Z trends, taught by Professor Sophia Delrosario, Insights Strategist. Here’s this week’s lecture about the latest TikTok videos, memes, and lifestyle trends!
Clap For Em!
The latest viral dance trend incorporates a decent amount of Tiktok’s signature moves. But perhaps the best part is the acapella dancing sound in the middle, where our favorite content creators hit each beat effortlessly. It’s easy to see why dance trends such as these blow up— I see the users exuding confidence and having fun moving their bodies!
“I’m not the main character, I’m…”
Months ago, Gen Z was striving to give off main character energy. Now, we’ve come to the collective realization that we vibe way more with side characters. Users have taken to TikTok to display screenshotted examples of the specific character they resonate with. My take on this trend would be, “I’m not the main character. I’m the witty sidekick best friend with a fun closet!”
Girl Meets World Slander
Teens poke harmless fun at the Boy Meets World spinoff series, Girl Meets World, by recording spot-on impressions of Riley and Maya’s unique voice patterns and dialogue. TBH, I never grew fond of the show… I thought the way actors’ line delivery never represented how teens actually talk. I find myself replaying the videos and thinking about how absurd and ridiculous the show’s portrayal of young girls is.
The ‘Bracket’ Meme
Twitter users try their own various takes on this meme, where they draw two brackets: a small bracket showing what a certain thing is on surface-level, and a big bracket to depict the reality of the situation.
‘Hot Vax Summer’
Based on Megan Thee Stallion’s iconic catchphrase ‘Hot Girl Summer’ (which should honestly go into the official English dictionary at this point), ‘Hot Vax Summer’ has arrived. People who have gotten both of their COVID-19 shot doses say it to express their excitement for an eventful summer. I think Hot Vax Summer is super fun but does it promote disregarding CDC safety guidelines? I definitely think it does— COVID isn’t over yet, y’all.
Gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss
Remember how “girlboss” took over the 2010’s? Generation Z has ironically combined three frequently-used buzzwords on Instagram ‘Facebook meme’ pages and TikTok into one sarcastic phrase: gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss. It’s awfully funny to me, particularly because I just blurt it out or text the phrase at any given time. IMO, the funniest memes and lingo are the ones that don’t need context.
Billie Freakin’ Eilish. That’s it, that’s the headline.
Gen Z goddess Billie Eilish flipped aesthetics in one week. From slime green, macabre, cool-girl designer swag to a Hollywood blonde bombshell on this month’s cover of Vogue, we are obsessed. Today’s teens fawned over her beauty and her no-f’s-given messaging, with her IG posts breaking record after record. I’ve been a Billie stan for so long, so this new era is going to be everything. She’s encouraging young people to own their bodies, and to do whatever we want, whenever we want.
Shadow and Bone: TV Adaptation of the YA Book Series!
Booktok has been raving about the Netflix adaptation of the duology series by Leigh Bardugo, where fans rave about the chemistry between main characters Alina and the Darkling. As for me, I adored the TV show. I’m a sucker for fantasy and some good special effects, and while many adaptations tend to ruin childhood nostalgia, this show hit the nail right on the head.
Doja Cat UNDERSTANDS the TikTok Assignment.
Grammy-nominated artist Doja Cat has users forgetting she’s a celebrity with how relatable and hilarious she is on her TikTok account, partaking in a fun mocking trend and stitching an awkward teacher video. I find it so refreshing to see artists be their authentic selves on TikTok. In fact, that’s what the platform should be used for! It’s a reminder that they’re human, and not polished, perfect, and pristine 24/7.
Spring Fashion Trends!
This season screams color. We’ve got retro pattern/print tops, ruched floral dresses, pearls and hairclips, patchwork jeans, statement blazers, cut-out tops, leather short sets, and so much more. What are my top picks of the Spring 2021 wardrobe, you ask? I’ve gotta side with blazers and leather short sets and the rise of sage green!
Healing Crystals and Astrology
Spiritual Tiktok is on the rise. Users are reading their complicated, yet compelling, astrological birth charts, and ‘Crystals for Beginners’ videos are becoming super popular. People are purchasing items such as crystal mining bags and rose quartz as people embark on their spiritual journey. However, I’m noticing that many on TikTok are not acknowledging how crystal healing is rooted in Indian culture and religion, as well as ancient texts.
The COVID-19 Crisis in India + Vaccine Apartheid Highly Affects Children
As many COVID-19 patients are young adults, this is majorly affecting their children. Children in India are being orphaned at least 10 times more than what is being reported, with there being 30 million abandoned children. This can lead to poor foster care experiences, exploitation and abuse for young girls, and much more.
Trans children are facing 144+ Anti-Trans Bills in Circulation
You may have heard about anti-trans legislation, especially those regarding whether or not trans people can play on the sports team they identify with. Many of these bills affect trans youth. Here are resources by Gen Z activist @pinkmantaray’s page to help cope with this news and to offer more visibility.
It’s Testing Season!
It’s that time of the year again: College Board is administering AP tests to high school students, and we’re all cramming and chugging that coffee and going to study groups to ace the exams. Schools are also offering in-person SATs now, so we’re seeing lots of kids settle into full-focus mode. I’m trying to prevent burnout by taking self-care breaks and reminding myself to take it one step at a time! (Ironic that testing season is during Mental Health Awareness Month, isn’t it?)
JUV Consulting is a Gen Z collective that works with companies to create purpose-driven and authentic marketing campaigns that engage young audiences. Contact us at email@example.com if you would like to learn how to reach Gen Z, or sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Screenshot, to get Gen Z insights straight to your inbox.
Sophia Delrosario is the Director of Insights at JUV. She is also the founder and executive director of Zenerations (@zenerations on Instagram).