| 11.7°C Dublin


It was the tolling of the bell for millennials everywhere: we are now the boomer

Ciara O'Connor


  

Close

Kaia Gerber for Isabel Marant spring/summer 2019

Kaia Gerber for Isabel Marant spring/summer 2019

Laura Whitmore

Laura Whitmore

/

Kaia Gerber for Isabel Marant spring/summer 2019

In the midst of a global pandemic, it's important not to lose sight of the little things that can bring us joy and keep us human: like the adorably bats**t behaviour of Gen Z celebrity children.

Cindy Crawford's son and daughter offer a neat microcosm of this generation, with 18-year-old Kaia Gerber, a supermodel who thinks about things like 'using' her 'platform' 'responsibly', and her 20-year-old brother, Presley, who recently got a tattoo on his face reading 'MISUNDERSTOOD'.

In Vogue last week, Kaia spoke about her responsibility to stand for what she believes in, as she thinks about the 2020 US elections.

"With all the information that's out there, we can't claim ignorance anymore," she said. "My generation sees it as their duty to educate themselves, to speak up - we won't be silenced by anyone."

This was the tolling of the bell for millennials everywhere: we are now the boomers. A new generation who believes they are the first to notice that the world isn't fair has come of age, and the millennials have nothing to offer anymore other than a trove of unexpected uses for avocado and context for certain 1990s memes.

Kaia also teensplained social media, musing: "We have ways of communicating with each other now that we didn't have before."

Meanwhile, when asked about what the tattoo on his face means (which, in fairness, is a question designed to humiliate), Presley answered: "I don't feel very understood, I guess."

"You don't know how I feel. You're not in my head," said Presley entirely sincerely in an Instagram Live.

Luckily for Presley, he appears to be unfamiliar with the character of Kevin the Teenager and so is able to say with impunity things like: "If I thought this was going to ruin my face or I didn't want this, I wouldn't have done it." Duh.

The tattoo is a perfect metaphor for something, perhaps the futility of youth, because anything you may say about the wisdom of getting MISUNDERSTOOD tattooed on your cheek would simply be met by "you don't understand". A 'misunderstood' tattoo is literally impossible to argue with, like a three-year-old who only eats bread.

Together, Kaia and Presley represent the new gendered landscape of youth culture: empowered young women making money, and masculinity in a crisis of vulnerability.

*******

Funnily enough, Kaia isn't the only overachieving teenage daughter of A-list royalty out there.

Talk show host/yogi/singer/actress/record producer Willow Smith has turned her attention to performance art. Will Smith's 19-year-old youngest child became (almost) a household name aged 10 with her song, Whip my Hair, and last week she spent 24 hours in a glass box with her boyfriend/creative collaborator Tyler Cole, at Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles.

It was called 'The Anxiety', (also the name of her forthcoming LP) and hoped to illustrate 'the eight stages of anxiety'; if you think that the 'eight stages' sounds made up, you might well be right - or old.

Apparently, the eight stages are paranoia, rage, sadness, numbness, euphoria, strong interest, compassion and acceptance.

Obviously, the couple drew on the walls and held up signs to the audience reading things like, "When you practise patience you are emulating the very spirit of nature". Obviously, it ended with Tyler shaving Willow's head: for a generation raised on drag culture and 2007 Britney, this is the ultimate symbol of rawness, fragility and freedom.

"This is not so that people are like, 'Oooh!'" Smith told the Los Angeles Times in a series of spectacular non-sequiturs: "This is for awareness. The first thing we're going to be writing on our title wall is something along the lines of: 'The acceptance of one's fears is the first step toward understanding.' So then you know this is on something real. This is for a real cause."

God, these girls keep me young.

*******

Lidl has submitted plans for a Northern Ireland shop, which include a licensed premises.

This feels like the inevitable next step for the company which for several years now has been working on making shopping with them more of an enjoyable experience and less an invigorating extreme sport.

This has meant more space and more staff - but there's only so much fun you can have sober, we know it and Lidl knows it, too.

A trip around Lidl becomes a fun bonding activity for the whole family when mum's three glasses of wine deep - or, three glasses of grape-based-alcoholic-beverage-that-can't-legally-be-called-wine-but-definitely-does-the-job-anyway.

Think of early-evening hangovers from a Lidl bender, coming to in a pile of middle-aisle camping gear, foot spas and watercolour paints.

Hen parties are about to change forever.

*******

And so to the earth-shattering revelation from Laura Whitmore that boyfriend Iain Stirling was too nervous to make a move on her when they first met.

Says Laura, who is so good-looking she doesn't look Irish, "I think he was intimidated by me."

Sterling was "too scared" to ask her out - which is fair given how much of his life is spent narrating Love Island contestants talking about their types (Iain Stirling is none of their types) and refusing to speak to men with the wrong colour hair.

He became famous making fun of how other people lay the mac down; having seen a hundred Love Islanders embarrass themselves, he's learned that there is no good way to go about it. Grafting is always awful. Laura says: "He didn't even hit on me, he was too nervous to hit on me!" and so he did what any self-respecting man who doesn't look like Love Island would do: "He used to send me random messages, DM me and ask me about my dog."

Women's sexuality is a very complex thing.

Sunday Independent


Related Content

Curtis Pritchard and Maura Higgins are officially dating. Picture: Instagram