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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies