In Episode 9 called Mind Yo Business GenZ, we talked about how GenZers have come to the conclusion that skinny jeans and side parts are no longer acceptable. In episode 11 called Did you raid my closet, we discussed how Gen Z fashion trends bring us back to the 90s. Now GenZ has coined a new term that is starting to pop up everywhere – and that’s Cheugy. I will say, it’s a fun word to say – so 10 points for that.
Cheugy is used to describe someone who is untrendy, out of date or trying to hard. Basically it’s the GenZ version of “basic”. On the Today Show (which I would argue is probably considered a cheugy way to understand what cheugy means), You use Herbal Essence. #GirlBoss energy, which we’ll be coming back to that one in a second, cheezy hashtags or captions, you love Disney but you are an adult, Jean jackets, The “Garden State” Soundtrack, Graphic tees, Decorative wooden signs for your home – Live Laugh Love, Dunder Mifflin merch, Axe body spray and being a fan of the show Friends.
Now I have to admit, the being a massive Disney fan when you are an adult, I have also always found inappropriate. I mean, we all grew up with Disney and God knows I saw the live action Lion King movie in theatres and I took my niece and nephew to Disney on Ice happily. But you know those adults – where they are super into it? It seems off to me, like there’s a deeper something going on there. Maybe they felt they were robbed of their childhood or their adulthood has been problematic so they are desperately clinging to the past for comfort. I think of it is like if you are an adult and still have your childhood blanky in your house – you probably also go to Disneyworld yourself, with no kids. Maybe you even had your wedding there.
Some of these, I think they are just too young to understand. Like They don’t get why The Office was so hilarious because they have never worked in an office and the humor goes right over their head. The Garden State soundtrack seems oddly specific. First of all, don’t you miss a good soundtrack? I feel like that’s not really a thing anymore. But I remember when you saw a movie, and then you immediately went to Tower Records or Best Buy and bought the sountrack and then would put it on repeat to relive the movie? I think my favorite soundtracks that I could remember were Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes and Leo and Wicker Park with Josh Harnett and the Lion King. But I’m on TikTok a lot and I hear the new music coming out and let’s not pretend like GenZ has the lock on good music. So I don’t know if I really want to get my musical advice from a GenZer.
I do have an issue with #GirlBoss being Cheugy. Let me get this straight. You find women empowering each other and fighting against the misogynist culture where women leaders are considered “aggressive” if they are direct where a man is considered “strong”. That is lame to you? This isn’t lame, you just are lucky enough that you haven’t experienced misogyny in the workplace yet. You haven’t experienced being talked over in a meeting. Or having a male client prefer to only work with the men on the team. Or being held to a different standard than your male counterparts. And congratulations on that. But unfortunately, you probably will at some point. And then maybe you can appreciate a simple hashtag that women can use to signify their own struggle with the patriarchy. Also, you’re fucking welcome to all the women that have helped make strides so you can benefit from them in the workforce. You may never have to experience what we did, or our parents did. That’s because women have forced these conversations both in the workplace and in public and online. So It’s not Cheugy, it’s brave. It’s not a trend. It’s a movement. And god help us all if GenZ doesn’t wake the fuck up as they get older and into the real world to realize how important this movement is.
Jean Jackets are not on or off trend, they are a wardrobe staple. Jean jackets have been around since 1880. When something has been around that long, it’s safe to say it’s not a trend. That’s like saying jeans overall are cheugy or a little back dress, or a trench coat or leather jacket. I think the problem here is GenZ isn’t old enough to truly have developed their style yet. They’re still dabbling around and figuring it out and growing as people figuratively and literally. Let’s face it, we’re talking about 6-24 year olds. They can’t have staples in their closet because their bodies are literally still growing. It’s not like you are going to buy a piece of clothing at 22 years old and have that for the rest of your life, or even the next five years. They just haven’t gotten there yet. They’re still living in this follow the trends way of thinking.
On TikTok, as you can imagine, there’s a ton of content about cheugy. You scroll for hours and at some point you’re like should I just walk around naked and live in a house with nothing it to be cheugy? Is it possible to not be cheugy? So let’s do a quickfire round of things labeled Cheugy and my one liner response on it:
Almond Milk – Oh right, because you still have the metabolism of a child and lactose doesn’t make your stomach feel like it’s going ot explode.
TOMS – so you are against super comfortable shoes that also provide shoes for those in need? Nice.
Uggs – No one ever said Uggs were cute, but I’ll tell you what, the second fall rolls around and it becomes appropriate for me to walk outside my house in pretty much the equivalent of slippers, I’m all in.
Grey Painted walls – as compared to what exactly? I’m sorry, when you actually move out of mom and dad’s house, or your dorm, and go buy your own house, then you can talk to me about grey painted walls.
Scrunchies, especially when worn on the wrist as a bracelet – first of all, their on the wrist because it’s easy access for when you need it. But secondly, who the fuck wears scrunchies? Have you never seen Sex and the City? No respectable woman wears a scrunchie, maybe these are your friends doing this so leave us alone.
A-Line Dresses – Only one of the most flattering shapes of a dress ever made. Shut the fuck up to you and your “I haven’t grown hips yet” body that doesn’t understand the benefit of an a line dress.
Then there’s already cheugy styles that are on their way back. What? Cheugy is a new word and it’s already null and void for certain trends? Here are some Cheugy trends that are on their way back apparently.
The brand Coach – according to GenZ, the new styles are awesome (probably not the word they would use). As a former Coach fanatic, and someone that walks by Coach most days, to this I say you’re wrong. The new design direction is hideous and you will not be catching me buying Coach anytime soon. Also, thanks to Coach, they’ve ruined Kate Spade for me because since she passed and they took over, it’s going downhill. RIP Kate Spade.
Lilly Pulitzer – you know, that ugly ass, bright, floral shit you could buy at Target? Apparently “current” Lily is cheugy, but “vintage Lily” is acceptable. Did you just hear me? “Vintage Lily Pulitzer”? So GenZ considers Lily Pulitzer vintage but not a jean jacket? Side note – have you been Target lately? When you enter the women’s clothing section, why does it feel like you walked onto the set of Little House on the Prairie? I’m not kidding, go see for yourself. Is this what we are left with that’s not cheugy? You consider denim jackets offensive, but not Little House on the prairie? Shit makes no sense!
I will say – after all that, there was one clapback I saw on TikTok that made me laugh out loud. Someone responded, I’m not getting advice from a generation that ate Tide Pods. This cracks me up, because it’s true. GenZ did that, not us. And I lived through that from a marketing perspective. GenZ is the reason you now have a annoying twist top on your Pods container. They apparently couldn’t tell the difference between laundry detergent and candy. Ooooh the bright colors! No wonder they’re drawn to Lilly Pulitzer.
Now this is all fun and games and at the end of the day, none of this really matters. It can get annoying that GenZ has this very public forum to make fun of us in a way we never had. All generations think the one older than them isn’t cool. But their the first generation that has social media platforms to publicly shame others. They’re also publicly shaming a generation that the media shamed for our formative years. We grew up with unrealistic beauty standards that we tried to live up to and felt insecure when we inevitably couldn’t.
But through the Kate Moss and Pamela Anderson view of it all, we survived and now use hashtags like #GirlBoss to support each other and our journey. And after all that, we have to now listen to these little shits publicly tell us we’re lame. That’s the problem I have with it. While each video posted usually starts with, don’t get mad at me it’s just for fun – you are taking to social media to shame other women.
Because let’s be clear, the items they are talking about, are not male orientated. Almost everything labeled as Cheugy is geared towards women. That makes me sad. These young women are being taught it’s funny to publicly shame other women. We as Millennials know the harm the harm this causes. And so while you could say, who cares? They’re just stupid kids. I say, I don’t care that they’re young, their old enough to learn. They also can’t handle the blowback coming on them.
So there’s a couple lessons that can be learned here – don’t tear other women. It’s not a good look. Also, if you going to shame someone else, get ready for what’s coming your way and be able to handle it.
Overall, GenZ has a lot of opinions about us and what we should wear. Their obsession with trends is not something I can relate to. When we were growing up, there were things that were cool of course, but I honestly don’t remember it being such an important part of my life. Maybe that’s a result of growing up with social media, which I’m still so thankful I didn’t. I don’t know what would have been worse, sharing things I will regret later or probably the nasty bullying online that these kids go through. I truly couldn’t be happier that I just missed that technological advance and it didn’t hit until after college. Thank God!
While GenZ is more technologically advanced than we were at that age, and more comfortable with sharing their thoughts on social media – I look forward to the day where they take that energy and put it into something good or of value. Instead of ripping on Millennials for wearing Uggs or painting our walls grey, maybe use that voice to make a positive change. I have hope. I mean, I was an asshole at that age too. I didn’t know shit but I thought I did and I think that’s just life. Every year I get older, the more I realize how little I know. So instead of getting annoyed at GenZ, we just need to see this for what it is – they’re really just kids. They have a lifetime to learn and grow and we have a front row seat. Sometimes it’ll be a drama, sometimes a comedy but hopefully not a horror movie.
Until next time!