There are just a few years between millennials and Gen Z, yet a fashion chasm has opened up between the two generations over a distaste for side parts and skinny jeans that appears too great to overcome.
The topic of side parts, and the older generations’ affinity for them, has been making its way around TikTok for months, with a viral video by a user who goes by Lady Gleep @missladygleep heightening the conversation over the summer after she encouraged her fellow TikTok users to “prove me wrong, but I don’t think there is a single person who looks better with a side part than they do a middle part”.
Lady Gleep is not alone in her opinion, as countless other members of her generation, which refers to those born after 1997, have denounced the side part while maintaining that the middle part is actually the more superior hair-parting style.
As of 18 February, the hashtag #middlepart has amassed more than 142.8m views on the app.
The discourse also made its way to Twitter, where millennials have attempted to understand Gen Z’s hatred towards side parts.
“Someone needs to write an article about TikTok teen’s obsession with hating on the side part (yes this is a thing) I am fascinated,” writer Jessica Valenti tweeted in October.
As a result, many millennials have found themselves in a difficult position, with some attempting to switch their hairstyles to fit in with the younger TikTok generation, while others have stood firm in their dedication to the side part.
“Me, a lifelong side-parter, forcing a middle part so Gen Z doesn’t know I’m old,” TikTok user Valerie Gisselle, who goes by the username @ventureswithval, captioned a TikTok in January.
Others have tried out the middle part on TikTok only to prove that a side part is actually more flattering, with user @sra_krod showing her parting her hair in the middle while narrating: “So today I learned that it is not cool to have a side part. You’re not going to tell me that doing this is better because I had this.”
“No, middle parts are stupid. I want volume,” she continued as she fluffed up her hair again.
She also pointed out that when millennials were young, middle parts were not in style, captioning the video: “I got bullied for this hairstyle. I refuse to give up my side part.”
In addition to launching an attack on side parts, Gen Z TikTok has also recently mocked millennial love of skinny jeans, with countless videos dedicated to explaining why the style is no longer in fashion and has instead been replaced with straight leg, mom jean, boot cut or boyfriend styles.
However, for some millennials, the further criticisms have prompted them to dismiss the younger generation’s fashion advice on the basis that Gen Z has been known for making questionable choices, such as eating Tide Pods.
“I’m sorry but the generation that ate Tide Pods does not get a say in where the part in my hair goes or what pants I wear. Thanks,” Taylor Rains, who goes by the username @taylorrainsmusic, responded in one TikTok.
##stitch with @mollietrainor y’all ate tide pods. I’ll part my hair on the side and wear skinny jeans. Enjoy the 90s fashion rn. 😂 youre welcome.♬ original sound - Taylor Rains
Others have simply expressed their desire for the younger generation to be more accepting, and not “bully” millennials into wearing certain types of clothes or styling their hair a certain way.
It is also worth noting that Gen Z did not invent middle parts nor straight leg or boot cut jeans, as both styles have been around long before the teen generation found out about them.
This is also not the first time that skinny jeans have been defended after being declared over, which suggests that the trend will stick around long after Gen Z cancels it.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies