Millennials are notorious for being bold and individualistic in the way they express themselves. In this chapter of YFM my best friend, Mia Severance, and I will be discussing why and how millennials are so heterogeneous…
Mia Severance is a down-to-earth chick with crazy good vibes from Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I chose to discuss this topic with Mia because of her gift of being able to express herself beautifully through art, fashion and music. Mia is currently a senior at California Lutheran University where she studies sociology and hopes to use her creative forces to pursue a job in the future. Please enjoy her artwork throughout this post and give her a follow on Instagram @miaroseseverance.
Kira: How do millennials express themselves the most? Whether this is through social media, fashion, art, tattoos etc.
Mia: I think we express ourselves the most through fashion and the way we act toward each other in public. And especially now, we are able to express ourselves more and more through fashion. In the 50’s it was just blue jeans and a button up shirt… Or you were a greaser. Now there is a plethora of types of fashion. But there are also fads… For example, people might follow these fads and be really trendy, or they might have their own style. Because I am an artist and because I like fashion, that (fashion) stands out the most to me, because that’s how you present yourself to the world. Through your body.
Mia: And then I think unfortunately we do express ourselves through social media. However, I think it takes up too much of our time capacity than it is supposed to because it is a 2 dimensional object. We as humans are not 2 dimensional beings at all so I think that is a slippery slope… Social media is usually portraying your ego. It isn’t as often that a soulful post gets a lot of likes. People usually want validation through their posts and I think social media can be bad because it makes us crave validation. If everyone was doing their own thing and just creating art, you wouldn’t need that validation from society.
Kira: That’s very true. I feel like with social media there is a fine line between self-expression and wanting validation or wanting to flex. For me, I only post shit on social media that I like. My profile represents authentic vibes that are special to me and I am not going to give a fuck about using facetune or trying to make my body look fake. So in that way I don’t look for validation at all. However, I am still going to post at 9pm to get the most views because I want to expose people to my content. So it’s always a little bit of both (validation and expression).
Mia: Whenever I post my art, it gets half as many likes as my selfies. Expression through social media can also be very superficial because “hot” people are always the popular people.
Kira: Facts… So why do you think that young people in our generation are far more heterogeneous than they were a few decades’ back?
Mia: Umm… I think with every generation there is evolution, and with every generation we will go deeper and deeper into ourselves, therefore becoming more individualistic. Also, our generation has parents who look different from each other and there are more interracial relationships. Therefore, us as kids are going to be very different compared to young kids from decades ago. It’s all in evolution. We also have the freedom now too, like transgender people and gay people are more comfortable with being themselves in public.
Kira: Do you think social media encourages individuality or assimilation?
Mia: I think it encourages assimilation.
Kira: I do too. I did a project my freshman year on how Instagram encourages assimilation in fashion, and how everyone follows the same trends rather than looking their own way. But my professor challenged me and asked, “Well don’t you think it’s the other way around? There’s so many different segments and niches of Instagram where people can find influencers that they aspire to look like”. Which was also a very valid perspective.
Mia: Social media is for bringing people together and a consequence of this is assimilation. You cannot have a society without assimilation.
The stereotype that Millennials are self-expressive is very true, and we aren’t afraid to stand out. Whether this is shown through our sliced jeans or body pics on the gram, my generation loves to show off. And thanks to evolution, people have become more individualistic. Being self-expressive is amazing and it represents an act of self love and creativity… But once people begin to post for validation, it becomes toxic.