I expend most of my energies in this column attempting to portray the varying aspects of the Millennial generation to dissuade stereotypes – or, in the event that those stereotypes are right, find out why.
But this time, I am engaging in some generational self-deprecation in order to provide you, last minute planners, with some inspiration. I sacrifice my dignity this once so that you might accomplish the all-important feat for partiers, mischief makers and lazy inner cosplayers everywhere: an adult Halloween costume that isn’t creepily juvenile or pathetically sexy.
You want a clever, on point, passable costume, don’t you? What better costume, I ask, then…. A Millennial?
Your essentials for this empowered look are:
– A bright pink knit cap with pointed corners that look like cat ears – the signature hat from the Women’s March of 2016.
– A shirt proudly proclaiming you are a “Nasty Woman,” because you’re reclaiming that phrase. Alternatively, a shirt with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s face on it.
– A sign that reads, “ . . . But her e-mails!” Alternatively, one that reads, “Nevertheless, she persisted,” another reclaimed slogan adopted by feminists after Senator Mitch McConnell used it as a criticism of Senator Elizabeth Warren.
– A perpetual scowl because the patriarchy has permanently destroyed your mood.
For a couple’s costume, have your significant other go as Ronan Farrow, famed journalist/ruiner of Harvey Weinstein. Or, if you want to go more for recognizable stereotype rather than be clever: a cat.
The Hipster Millennial is a curious creature. Found throughout the various enclaves of Long Beach, the Hipster Millennial’s aesthetic varies depending on taste in music, locale, and the extent of his or her sense of irony. There are, however, a few key identifiers you can count on for a recognizable costume:
– A full, untamed beard that evokes the essence of a wannabe mountain man
– A fitted graphic tee that is either ironic, depicts some type of odd vintage advertisement, or references something nerdy from the 1990s
– Short-shorts that your dad would have worn in 1987
– As accessories: a bag of fair-trade, locally roasted coffee; a can of PBR; and a Walkman, “because the sound is better.”
– If applicable, for transportation: a one-speed bicycle. No helmet of course. Can’t muss up the beard.
For a couple’s costume, your significant other can go as a manic pixie dream girl or a giant can of PBR.
“Millennials have officially ruined brunch,” the New York Post lamented last year. Why? Well, we love brunch – probably a little too much. And can you blame us? You get good food, bottomless mimosas, and, if you “brunch hard,” you can nip that hangover in the bud on the same day and still wake up the next morning feeling fine, ready to brunch all over again. As a result of our universal brunch love, we pack every establishment offering bottomless drinks every weekend morning. The lines are out the door. We’re sorry, but not sorry.
This costume requires a series of steps:
– Go to Target. Beeline to the young women’s section, and pick from a variety of shirts that say either “Brunch Life” or the coveted “Rosé all day.” Trust me, you’ll find one.
– Walk the half mile to the back of the store, where you will find the wine. You’re looking for the White Girl Rosé. Yes, that’s a real brand.
– Grab several avocados from the produce section.
– To complete costume, pair your new shirt with whatever bottoms you want. Put those avocados in flimsy canvas tote bag to sling over your shoulder, or if you’ve got it, in one of those weird clear plastic backpacks they make kids wear to school now. Hand them out at random.
– Carry that rosé with you wherever you go. Depending on the venue, open and swig from it freely, because brunch isn’t classy anymore; it’s Millennial.
Cultural Appropriation Millennial
No age group is exempt from criticism about acts of cultural appropriation, but Millennials tend to get knocked for it more than others – probably because, given our more “woke” and culturally sensitive upbringing, we should really know better.
You know that non-Hindu girl who likes to sport a bindi because she thinks it’s “pretty?” Remember the time Ke$ha went on Saturday Night Live covered in glow-in-the-dark paint in vaguely tribal patterns? Seen pictures of non-native people at Coachella wearing traditional Native American headdresses as a fashion statement?
Now, imagine that all of those people have been amalgamated into one person determined to rage against the machine, if the machine is all ethnicities telling you not to borrow their cultural traditions to improve your sense of style. This is your costume.
Done right, and this statement costume will glean appreciative nods from the people who understand you’re trying to mock Millennials who are oblivious to their habitual cultural appropriation. Done wrong, and you’re just going to offend everyone. Tread carefully.