He is between 20 and 30 years old, grew up in the 2000s, but has little memory of it. Still, the Zs want to bring back the aesthetic of the decade known as “Y2K.” Being cool in the early 2020s also means adopting the fashion and pop culture of this era idealized by young people. But why?
Since the pandemic, Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2010) have grown fond of one era, the 2000s. On Tik Tok, the hashtag “Y2K”, a popular form of fashion that emerged in the 2000s, counters a terrifying five billion views. On Instagram, many accounts have specialized in this area. Most Followed: Boschbabexxo (153,000 subscribers), VelvetCoke (1.7 million subscribers), 2000BeachBunny (254,000 subscribers). The resurgence of the 2000s has mixed with current pop culture and the decade’s aesthetic has spread to many areas, from fashion to music, through television, and especially to series.
Low-waisted pants, baggy pants, crop tops, wedge boots, ultra-colorful prints, tube tops… These pieces, representative of the Y2K aesthetic, are no longer so rare in the Z wardrobe. Worn at the time by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera. Paris Hilton or Jennifer Lopez, who are still adored today, these clothes are experiencing a new life thanks to these nostalgia and environmentally responsible jade. Because this phenomenon has been helped in a big way by the rise of secondhand, thrift stores and shopping in vintage. According to ThredUp’s latest report, Gen Z members in the United States will buy nearly 1.4 billion second-hand clothes in 2022, a 40% increase in one year. In his wardrobe, two out of five pieces are second-hand clothes. And more than eight out of ten Gen Z Americans (83%) have bought, or are open to the idea of buying, an item of clothing that has already been worn by someone else.
This return to the past has revived iconic brands of the 2000s such as Von Dutch, Juicy Couture, Miss Sixty or Ed Hardy. She has also shown a desire for rhinestones and sequins, butterflies and ultra-vitamin colors, two-tone hair, “spiky buns” (in which the ends of your hair are allowed to stick out of your bun to give it a spiky look) to date. has come to the fore. ), butterfly haircut, beaded Afro braids or “French braids” (which involve braiding the wick in half). Zedd chose the glamour, excitement and daring of this decade – a festive style that contrasts with a gloomy era – with the help of today’s influencers and stars, such as singers Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo, Bella Hadid or Hailey Bieber.
Rather than simply reproducing the look of Y2K, Z in its own way taps into nostalgia in those years of music, technology, or television. This generation (re)discovers many of the major entertainments of the time. Remember last year dressing like 2000s rom-com heroines was a major rom-com trend. How to Get Dumped in Ten Lessons”, or even “Lolita in Spite of Me”. Having become timeless pop culture references for Generation Z, these films are regularly cited in content posted to social networks. Zaid also likes to quote the reality TV show “The Simple Life” worn by Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie that paved the way for the Kardashian family’s reign. He enjoys taking his lines and turning them into memes on social networks We can also refer to Disney’s sitcoms, such as “Lizzie McGuire”, “Raven Phenomenon” or “Hannah Montana” with Miley Cyrus, which many consider to be the golden age of entertainment channels for youth, or Returns or reboots of series from those years (“Gossip Girl”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Charmed”, “Un Dos Tres”…).
idealization of the past
In an article for the Canadian site La Presse, La Sorbonne professor and researcher Emmanuel Fantin explains, “Studies show that watching television programs related to childhood acts as a tranquilizer, it is good for us.” To explain this fascination of Gen Z for the 2000s, many experts highlight the influence of “nostalgia”. These youth idealize a past they barely know. An effect that is not specific to this generation, but a society in crisis generally breeds even greater feelings of nostalgia. And on the other hand, Z has a sense of living his youth against a backdrop of health, economic and environmental crises. For them, the 2000s would be synonymous with euphoria, celebration and optimism, a far cry from the anxiety and gloom of 2020. But if they idealize this past, then whether they know it or not, they consider it to be the best. Because let’s not forget that the 2000s was also the decade of the September 11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the global financial crisis, and the tsunami in Southeast Asia.