While no scientific evidence has backed it yet (as of now, that is), the supposition that Generation Z (people born between 1997 – 2012) are ageing faster than millennials (those born between 1981 – 1996) has continued to garner attention both on and off social media.
Social media personality Jordan Howlett (known by the handle @jordan_the_stallion8) has pushed the idea that Gen Zs are ageing faster than millennials to further attention after sharing pieces about his life and how people hardly believe he is 26 years old.
Contrastingly, while many millennials are often complimented for “looking younger than their age”, Gen Z’s are more frequently told they look older than their age.
While there has not been enough scientific literature to back the theory that “Gen Zs are looking older than millennials”, it is worth noting the possible reasons that could have caused some individuals from Generation Z to appear to look older than their actual age.
1. Lifestyle Choices
Factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, insufficient sleep, and high-stress levels can contribute to premature aging. Gen Zs were born into the era of “easy life” – you can Uber to anywhere, get food delivered to your door, watch videos on social media all day, etc.
2. Sun Exposure
Excessive exposure to the sun without proper protection can lead to premature skin ageing, including wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of ageing. Gen Zs are growing up in a much warmer climate than millennials.
3. Smoking, drugs, alcohol and abuse of other substances
Unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and substance abuse can accelerate the ageing process and have detrimental effects on physical appearance. Hard drugs and other bad substances have become increasingly easier to get than it was during the time of millennials. Social media influence can also contribute to the pressure of trying bad substances even from a young age.
4. Bad Skin Care Practices/Choices
Neglecting skincare, not using sunscreen, or using harsh skincare products can impact the health and appearance of the skin. Many artificial skin care products and procedures (including surgeries and injectables) have become readily available and affordable in the time of Gen Z’s with many of them trying out these products and procedures even from a very young age.
Social media has also contributed to propagating a certain beauty aesthetic which has pushed many Gen Zs into trying beauty procedures many millennials never knew existed.
It is important to recognize that individuals within a generation can have diverse lifestyles, habits, and health practices. Generalizations about an entire generation looking older would not be accurate unless supported by adequate scientific evidence. If there are specific concerns about premature ageing in individuals, they are likely to be influenced by personal choices and habits rather than generational characteristics.