TikToker Tries to Settle the Millennial and Gen Z Debate Over Skinny Jeans

If you've been paying any attention to the hip Gen Z social media stars, you know one thing: side parts and skinny jeans have fallen out of style. One millennial has a great argument for keeping skinny jeans relevant, though.

If you were born before 1997, you might remember walking around with flare jeans that went down past your ankles. For one unnamed millennial TikToker, the feeling of soggy ankles and much-too-long pant legs was enough to shut down the bell-bottom or flare jeans trend forever—or at least for a little while.

In a video uploaded by a TikToker named Rachel (who says she is Gen Z), the off-screen, older sister recounts the uncomfortably damp memories in what may be the best argument for forgoing new style trends.

"You can pry my skinny jeans from my cold, dead a** and I'll tell you why," she began. "Because for the first 20 years of our lives, all of our jeans had the f****** flare that was like three times the size of your leg. And when it rained, that s*** always got wet and the water creeped all the way up from the bottom so you'd be walking around with, like, moist ankles all day because your f****** flare jeans had to drag along the ground."

Those who relate to the woman's statement might feel the weight of wet denim sitting on their ankles right now, even in the safety of their tight, dry skinny jeans. The baggy-pants trend that forced millennial children to spend extended time in soaked pants was no exaggeration by the speaker, whose passion for skinny jeans is shared by many who have already been vocal against Gen Z's attempt to censor their style.

The woman ended with a summary: "It was gross and it sucked."

In the past month, Gen Z has been adamant about slamming the millennial lifestyle, from the proper place to part one's hair and skinny jeans to apparently banishing the laughing-while-crying emoji. Now, as times change, millennials are fighting the system and trying to support their appearances.

Skinny Jeans
Scarlett Gartmann wearing Chanel black boots and Bershka blue jeans on February 27, 2021, in Dusseldorf, Germany. Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

It has started sort of a culture war on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, whose 60-second-or-less videos often feature either a millennial yelling that Gen Z—the generation who wanted to eat Tide pods—doesn't deserve to control their trends or a Gen Z member laughing at the defensive reactions from their elders.

Writing as someone born on the cusp year between both generations, it's overwhelming and stressful to see such strong opinions on both sides, especially knowing historically, each decade brings a new style, whether it's welcomed by all or not.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, and even slightly before, Gen Z and some millennials started to bring back fashion trends from some of their favorite decades, like the '90s. If you thought you'd never step on a plastic, butterfly hair clip again, the style gurus of the internet may tell you differently. Generational nostalgia is making a comeback—much of it relating to '80s and '90s fashion. So, sorry to say, millennials, it seems like flare jeans are a look that appeal to modern trendsetters.

Want to see more of the Gen Z–millennial feud? Here are some of the best TikToks to highlight the ongoing conversation that has everyone talking.