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

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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