gen z

Here I Am, an Old Woman Crying at the Genius of Teens, Again

Photo: @KelseyAyee, @MeAmJohn, @daonlydoll /Twitter

Pass me a tissue, please. My shaky old millennial hands, ridden with carpal tunnel from years spent at the keyboard, gnarled from pointing the finger at people I’ve canceled, cannot reach for one themselves. And the teens are making me cry again.

This time, the seniors at North Farmington High School in Michigan have dressed up in costume, a long-standing “prank” that is allowed by school officials, while posing for their ID photos. Their ingenuity, humor, creativity, and sheer commitment is moving and precious, especially for me, a person who grew up in a time where these works of art, shared on Twitter today, would have been sent around via something called “electronic mail.” And for every time I think my heart has gone black, the teens make it beat again.

First and foremost, of course, their costumes were meme-literate. Some of them were actually live re-creations of memes. In my day, we would have been dressing up as … Salad Fingers?

They referenced major pop-culture institutions and people, from long before their time.

You guys are still watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding? And Mean Girls? I’m verklempt.

One young man decided to go as a Home Depot box, no doubt a reference to the late-capitalist unfettered corporate monopolies that characterize our current era.

This child recreated a Vine! Which adults took from the youth. God bless her.

I feel honored and filled with youthful vitality to actually know what a VSCO girl is.

This high achiever put Peppa Pig on her face. “Her mind,” I might say, if I were young.

Here I Am, an Old Woman Crying at the Genius of Teens, Again