Honorable Mention - Marblehead Beacon Writing Competition
Life is a Runway
By Catherine Honos, Marblehead High School Senior
Can you guys read this? I suggest maybe turning up the brightness or maybe making your screen bigger (you can do that in settings.) Just Checking!
The biggest difficulty in writing this essay is not writing about the right topic but rather how to reach the audience of generations other than “Gen Z,” without confusing them with my humorous slang and abbreviations.
Understanding computer software or social media is a given skill of Gen Z, we were the generation that grew up with the creation of the mobile phone and we are designated to help the older generations grow accustomed to new talents among the phone. But, a more hidden experience that other generations do not comprehend that Gen Z understands, is style. Style of clothing consumes our generation, it drives us to show who we are inside and I believe that our style brings a different message than all other generations.
Styles in the past are based on trends, even now, style is based on trends. But before, people wore or didn’t wear what was popular. In 2022, there are many different trends within styles, similarly to genres but we call them “aesthetics.” The name aesthetic comes from the vibe or mood you radiate by the clothes you wear.
For example, your aesthetic can be “emo” and wear all black, eyeliner, spiky hair, chains or spikes. Or the aesthetic can be a “VSCO girl” and wear oversized shirts, pastels and scrunchies or tube tops. A new trendy aesthetic is “coastal grandma” which includes chinos and sweaters and linen pants or linen collared shirts. There is always a category for each person to fit into and if not, they just wear what makes them comfortable and what I love most is that we, Gen Z, have brought acceptance to each other's personal outfit choices.
I have found that the way these aesthetics come to trend is by social media. Through the fast moving atmosphere of social media, fashion spreads rapidly. On a platform, Tik Tok, some people post “OOTD (Outfit Of The Day)” videos every single day. The creator's one goal is to show the watchers what they are wearing for the day. Similarly, some influencers even post “hauls” and show viewers the new clothing they bought. It is so simple and they only look to
achieve validation from other people with the same aesthetic.
Overall, my favorite Millennial and Gen X questions are “Did you buy your jeans already ripped or did you do that yourself.” Or maybe, “You paid for half a shirt?” I understand that it can be confusing to wear excessive clothes when you’re at school, a store or a restaurant, but I believe the motive comes from, “life’s a runway, own it.” If you allow yourself to be expressive through your clothing, it leads to a boost of confidence and self worth and it can also lead to meeting new people that you can relate to. So many good outcomes and rarely negative outputs come from dressing like yourself.
In conclusion, the way Generation Z dresses will never make sense to anyone but us and that makes us special. We always wear our clothes with pride, no matter who comments!
Cate Honos is a senior at Marblehead High School. She is a member of many National Honor Societies and other clubs at school and also started her own mental health club called "Support and Be Supported" with friends. She ski races and is a captain of the Marblehead Ski Team at MHS for the upcoming season. Cate is honored to receive this honorary mention and is proud that something she wrote has been recognized.