Gen Z: A Generation of Absurdity

Gen Z: A Generation of Absurdity

Motunrayo Mary Joel

A generation where sanity is underrated and absurdity is embraced. This is Gen Z. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Generation Z (colloquially known as Gen Zoomers) is a term that refers to the group of people who were born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Besides, there are other categories/classifications of generation labels. These include: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenial, Generation Y, and Generation Alpha. Apparently, the Gen Z is known for its sophistication, socialisation, advancement in technology and many more.

Incontestably, it is quite impossible for one not to be able to identify the group of people who belong to this generation. As a matter of fact, their fashion sense, language use, behaviour, etcetera, make it easy for them to be identified. In this generation (Gen Z), there are certain groups of young adults who are known as baddies. There are popular fashion traditions; one of which is the “Altè fashion”. Among this generation (Gen Z), the use of the slang “steeze” is common; also, the fashion sense of ladies and guys is among the trending habits of young adults in Nigeria. These, amongst others, are discussed in this article.

Surprisingly, this is a generation where sophisticated young adults who claim to be Gen Zs publicly refer to themselves as baddies. It is interesting to discover that a baddie, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner`s Dictionary, is a bad or evil character in a film/movie, book, or play. Hence, baddies are those who behave badly, unkindly, and even harm others. If not for the absurdity of this generation, why would one publicly refer to oneself as a baddy? Maybe, they think it is the best way to qualify their sophistication. “Gen Z baddies”, they claim to be.

Moving on, what of the so-called Altè fashion adopted by these young adults? Sadly, this overrated style has been a mix up of edgy elements which include piercing, baggy trousers, dirty sneakers, torn jeans, and so on. Is it not crazy to wear dirty and tattered clothes all in the name of trending fashion? Indeed, such can only be acceptable in the absurd generation. Fashion is said to be a style that is popular at a particular time, especially in clothes, hair, cosmetics, etcetera. This suffices to say that fashion is a way of self-expression. In the same vein, it depicts and communicates values. Some styles may, however, convey a lack of respect for certain occasions. Although, Gen Zs see this craze (Altè fashion) as a trend and a form of cultural identity amongst themselves, maybe one should not criticise this absurdity; after all, they just want to make a difference.

In the words of my lecturer cum erudite scholar at the Lagos State University, Dr Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (Dr GAB), every young adult wants to be a part of the craze and happenings of this era. He further exemplifies with the use of the slang “steeze” which has now gained momentum amongst young people. The word “steeze” does not even exist in the English dictionary, yet, young adults use it in their conversations. So you hear expressions like “wetin go come do my steeze?” Interestingly, it has become a trend for ladies to always pull up their big tops while they walk (to show their buttocks). Also, you find many guys wearing trousers without belts; they want to “sag”. As if that is not enough, why on earth would a person compose a song with the chorus “nyansh na nyansh” and people are seriously singing it as if their lives depend on it? All of these are embedded in the absurdity of this generation.

To round off, in as much as Gen Z is a generation of absurdity, I can only hope things do not get worse. Mark you, this treatise does not preach against exploring innovative and novel ideas as a way of life in this contemporary time, but it brings our attention to the need to do such in consonance with utmost sensibility and cultural norms.
(c) Motunrayo Mary Joel writes from Lagos State University.

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