The New Normal

By: Jaelen Hodges

Walking down the halls of a public high school was drastically different 30 years ago. Many teens these days would not dare step out of the house in a pair of neon, patterned parachute pants or any other fashion fad that we have deemed “disastrous.” However, dozens of historic styles have made comebacks in recent years, including mom jeans, chokers, crop tops, fanny packs, and denim jackets. The repetition of fashion elements from previous decades is nothing new but may come as a surprise for adults who lived through these decades and then wondered, “What were we thinking?”

Luckily, the “new normal,” in terms of fashion at least, is probably the most expressive and unique as it has ever been. Having numerous elements that are currently in style, notably from the 60s, 70s, and 90s, presents a wide array of outfits and looks that appeal to nearly everyone’s taste. With the rise of social media and so many people being able to start a Youtube channel, blog, or any other social media account, we are provided with inspiration from many unique styles, rather than fashion editors deciding what is “in” or “out.”

Not only are teens dressing differently, but the way we consume and listen to music today is astronomically different from we did in previous decades. Music apps like Spotify and Soundcloud have revolutionized the music industry because of the sheer amount of content we have at our fingertips. Gone are the days of cassette tapes, vinyl records or the radio; instead, we are only one click or download away from millions of songs and hundreds of genres.

Additionally, student voices in our generation are heard considerably more often due to social media. Whether it be meaningful tweets about the Black Lives Matter movement or comments on Starbucks drinks, social media has allowed us to spread our thoughts and views across the nation and the world. However, online news sources now have to grab our attention to get us to read their stories. These flashy tactics mean that teens live in a world where the majority of the news we see is not newsworthy. Instead, the stories often focus on cute animals or another celebrity baby. Unfortunately, teens today are more likely to read these fluffy stories than a hard-hitting news article about conflict in the Middle East.

Altogether, each generation is vastly different than the previous, and we rarely stop to think about the contrast between our teenage years and those of our predecessors. As the times change, so does the perception of what is “normal” for teenagers. In thirty years, we will undoubtedly become the cringeworthy parents trying and failing to grasp current teen trends, because a change in what teenagers see as normal is inevitable.

Walking down the halls of a public high school was drastically different 30 years ago. Many teens these days would not dare step out of the house in a pair of neon, patterned parachute pants or any other fashion fad that we have deemed “disastrous.” However, dozens of historic styles have made comebacks in recent years, including mom jeans, chokers, crop tops, fanny packs, and denim jackets. The repetition of fashion elements from previous decades is nothing new but may come as a surprise for adults who lived through these decades and then wondered, “What were we thinking?”

Luckily, the “new normal,” in terms of fashion at least, is probably the most expressive and unique as it has ever been. Having numerous elements that are currently in style, notably from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘90s, presents a wide array of outfits and looks that appeal to nearly everyone’s taste. With the rise of social media and so many people being able to start a Youtube channel, blog, or any other social media account, we are provided with inspiration from many unique styles, rather than fashion editors deciding what is “in” or “out.”

Not only are teens dressing differently, but the way we consume and listen to music today is astronomically different from how people did in previous decades. Music apps like Spotify and Soundcloud have revolutionized the music industry because of the sheer amount of content we have at our fingertips. Gone are the days of cassette tapes, vinyl records or the radio; instead, we are only one click or download away from millions of songs and hundreds of genres.

Additionally, student voices in our generation are heard considerably more often due to social media. Whether it be meaningful tweets about the Black Lives Matter movement or comments on Starbucks drinks, social media has allowed us to spread our thoughts and views across the nation and the world. However, online news sources now have to grab our attention to get us to read their stories. These flashy tactics mean that teens live in a world where the majority of the news we see is not newsworthy. Unfortunately, adolescents today are more likely to read these fluffy stories than a hard-hitting news article about conflict in the Middle East.

Altogether, each generation is vastly different than the previous, and we rarely stop to think about the contrast between our teenage years and those of our predecessors. As the times change, so does the perception of what is “normal” for teenagers. In thirty years, we will undoubtedly become the cringeworthy parents trying and failing to grasp current teen trends, because a change in what teenagers see as normal is inevitable.

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