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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: You weren’t born in the wrong generation


A common saying adopted mainly by Generation Z and millennials is, “I was born in the wrong generation.” This comes often from a wish to live in a past decade where the pop culture scene was similar to what they currently enjoy. An example of this would be a person interested in 1970s fashion and music claiming that they wish they lived in the 70s. 

I would argue there is no better time to live than in the present, and there are many reasons why this is the case.  

The most glaring reason is that many marginalized people did not have the same rights in the past as they do now. So, this romanticized image of what it would be like to live in a certain generation would also mean stripping rights away from minority groups. But I don’t think people who say they were born in the wrong generation are even considering those factors. The saying does not seem to be discussed in a political or socioeconomic context.  

[Related: COLUMN: Diving into the Rawring ‘20s: a new era of emo]

Instead of being nostalgic of the past, let’s focus on how our favorite elements of past decades are coming back in droves. 

Fashion is forever changing as clothing items go in and out of style rapidly. With the current state of the fashion cycle, everything is “in” to someone. The most common eras that I have personally seen being aestheticized are the 70s to the 2000s. 

The 1970s and today have a lot of similarities in the fashion world. A staple of the 1970s was flared pants. This was especially important for women, as women’s fashion took a turn from the more feminine dress and skirt styles of the 60s by incorporating more traditionally masculine clothing. Along with flared pants came vests, large sunglasses, corduroy, platform heels, jumpsuits and more. We have seen these styles in the current fashion scene a hundred times over. You do not need to go back to the 70s when everything you love is still here. 

Bright colors, oversized blazers, bodysuits, turtlenecks, see-through layering, corset belts and pantsuits were popularized in the 1980s. These trends are inspiring the current fashion scene, so, if you want to dress like it’s the 80s, look no further than your nearest clothing store.  

The 1990s was a time when the millennial generation was growing up. Trends from the 90s that have seen a resurgence are claw clips, cardigans, biker shorts, bucket hats, cargo pants, high-waisted “mom jeans,” combat boots, scrunchies, slip dresses and more. The 90s are back and better than ever. 

The 2000s, also known as Y2K, was a fashion era that seems to be very opposite to its predecessors, as more skin was being shown. But we see Y2K clothing such as crop tops, low-rise pants and tube tops today at the same time as the oversized clothing of decades prior. Other classic pieces of the decade that have come back are tracksuits, baby tees, pleated skirts, miniskirts and butterfly clips.  

[Related: COLUMN: Y2K fashion favored by the younger generations]

In 2023, all these styles live together in harmony. And the best part of not needing to be in a certain generation to enjoy them is that you can change your mind! You may vibe with the 70s one day and the next day wear a Y2K-inspired outfit.  

We have so many choices right now that no other generation has gotten to experience. Thanks to social media, we get to experiment with any fashion era we please in a time where we can find other people who enjoy the same style as us no matter what. 

As for music taste, listening to music has never been easier. Since most people have a smartphone now, you can download music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music and start listening with the click of a button. You can listen to ABBA one minute and Destiny’s Child the next without needing to travel back in time to the era when the music was made.  

While I see the appeal in traveling back in time to your favorite decade to experience the culture when it first surged, there has never been a better time to explore the fashion and music of every generation than right now. You can go back to your parents’ generation, but I am staying right here. 

Ravana Gumm (she/her) is a freshman studying journalism.

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