Stanley Moms and Sephora Tweens
after school weekend edition
Welcome back to After School Weekend Edition. Think of the Monday-Thursday letters as the CliffsNotes; this is the extended version for paid subscribers.💫
Today we’re talking about:
Office siren aesthetic
Italian charm bracelets
The hot girl toilet set
Gypsy Rose stans
75 Hotter Challenge
The rich-person Saltburn dance
And everything else that happened this week in youth culture and what I’m buying/reading/listening to. Before we jump in, my favorite TikTok of the week (please watch with sound on, it’s what makes it so funny) (also, Zara, get it together):
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In the days leading up to and immediately following New Year’s Day, in-and-out lists replaced Christmas hauls as the dominant trend on my TikTok feed.
Often set to this trending sound, these declarations of what is cool and what is not — shared mostly by Gen Zers and young millennials — combine trend predictions (martinis, pilates) with personal intentions (early bedtimes, meditation).
I spent many hours over the last week watching these videos; in fact, my iPhone just generously let me know that my screen time was up 32% this week. Starting the year off strong. 🥴
While I was working hard to increase my screen time by watching all of these TikToks, I tallied up trends. Some findings:
A lot of the “ins” were self-care-oriented: early bedtimes, mindfulness practices, yoga classes, reading books, taking vitamins, complimenting strangers, etc. These are all very traditional New Year’s resolutions, though I think it still speaks to Gen Z’s continued enthusiasm for self-care, as a behavior, even if self-care, as a buzzword, is overplayed.
Other “ins” were more telling about the Gen Z consumer mindset going into 2024: Dinner parties, for example, were the single most mentioned “in.” I’m sure part of this is because of inflation (going out to dinner is expensive), but I think a big part of it is romanticizing adulthood — what feels more grown-up than cooking and hosting?