Spring Breakers and the Gen Y Gender Journey

Today's post comes from General Manager, Jake Katz. 

We've been covering all things Spring Break lately. We interviewed MTV about how they’re turning Spring Break into Spring Fix, and our YAB member, Nathan, a Bahamian native, reported on how this American ritual is expressed in his hometown. Today we'll cover Spring Break in all it's glory with a review of the highly anticipated film, Spring Breakers, reminding you that what you think Spring Break is, isn't what you should expect from this film. 

 

Spring Break Y’all!

James Franco Spring BreakersBetween the Spring Break beach bikini clichés, Skrillex’s music, and the hilarity of Franco with cornrows, I don’t think we were quite sure what to make of Harmony Korine’s recent exploration of youth culture that is Spring Breakers. It piqued my curiosity enough to watch the trailer multiple times, pass around the link to friends, and then see it. If you haven’t, holy crap, go see it. It was amazing, and not in a cool ironic-because-it’s-so-ridiculous way. Spring Breakers is actually a 92-minute analysis of shifting gender roles and a captured moment in Millennial evolution. 

Without giving too much away, the joke is on us. The trailer is a bait and switch for anyone that went to see Spring Breakers for one-dimensional female eye candy. It’s entirely the opposite. Frankly, I think that was over people’s heads and the result has been a soft response. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 68%. While a ridiculous reel of former Disney stars partying may have gotten America in to theatres, one must contrast Spring Breakers with Korine’s previous film, Kids circa 1995. Side by side, the two are a crystal clear comparison between Generation X and Y.

Spring Breakers is so neon drenched it's nearly a digital music video, and it's no coincidence its characters are college…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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