As a cusper myself, I'm constantly torn between being amazed by younger generations and absolutely perplexed. Don't get me wrong, I admire them, but also, like, why are they bringing back low-rise jeans?! Apparently, I'm not alone here. When we posted about the things younger women do that leave older women puzzled, over 300 women chimed in and gave their opinions on what surprises them, annoys them, or even amazes them about young women. Here's what some of them had to say:
1. "The crying online thing has always bothered me and I’m not that old either. I just don’t get why you’d film yourself in such a vulnerable state and put it online. I don’t usually bring out the cringe label, but it sure fits in this case."
2. "The lashes. My daughter has 'lash shampoo.' My 67-year-old friend let her granddaughter put lashes on her for a class she was taking and I laughed my butt off when I saw her. We're just having trouble getting used to the toy-doll-looking lashes. Sorry, I’m trying."
3. "I don't want to start any debates or anything, but the one thing I think is nuts and needs to come to a complete stop is sending nudes to strangers. Seriously, nothing good comes from it."
4. "Being intensely obsessed with celebrities at an extreme level, like Swifties threatening ex-boyfriends or conspiracy theory level investment into the lives of their favorite celebrity — it's creepy. Fandom has always existed and, yeah, I had boyband posters all over my room for like a year but damn, it's very unnerving."
5. "Stop making kid's lunches that look like a work of art. Bread crust is good for you."
6. "I love how much more accepting younger generations are. It’s really beautiful. At the same time, I’m so thankful that social media wasn’t very big when I was a teen. I mean, I didn’t have internet in my house until I was a senior in high school and that was dial-up. I see how much pressure my students are under to cultivate a social media persona and to keep up with all of their messages and posts. It’s exhausting."
7. "The whole loss of boundaries makes me sad. Living one's life online and just the lack of desire for any kind of privacy. I don't get it. I don't want to get it. I hope they don't have a sack of regrets when they get to be my age."
8. "I’m constantly amazed at how open young people are to LGBTQ people. Thirty years ago, even in purple cities, there was so much hatred. I really admire young peoples' openness and even resent I wasn’t born into their generation."
9. "I will never understand the 'do it for Instagram' mentality. My boyfriend and I recently attended a touristy attraction on a weekend away. It was one of those linear deals where you progress through and can't really pass other people easily. The three young women in front of us were repeatedly holding everyone up so they could take video of each other...walking. Literally just multiple videos of them walking away. My boyfriend finally asked if we could pass them because 'we're just walking and looking at things and not filming each other.'"
10. "Their need to be coupled up — they are willing to settle for anything instead of working on themselves and maintaining standards. I don't get it. I am 51 and I was raised to be independent and not be dependent on a man to support me financially. It makes me sad."
11. "The bum lifting leggings with the bit that splits the cheeks I see so much of at the gym. Absolutely not body shaming and I admire their confidence, but we spent the '90s asking, 'Does my bum look big in this?' I like a bit of coverage with my gym wear too, and I'd feel very self-conscious in a lot of today's gym wear."
12. "Since when did eyebrows become so important?! All of a sudden it was all about the eyebrows and making them look absolutely perfect. To me, it is so silly and ridiculous — it’s literally two small lines of hair on your face!"
13. "What I do admire about the younger generation is how adaptable and unafraid they are to change: If they aren’t happy working somewhere, they find a place where they are. This is speaking as someone who spent WAY too many years miserable at a company that sucked the confidence and life out of me because I thought my loyalty was appreciated."
14. "I’m 45 and my oldest daughter is 19. She can do makeup in such different ways: Concert makeup, university makeup, 'visiting her grandparents' makeup, job makeup, and it all looks amazing. She attributes it to all the makeup tutorials she watched growing up. Says she’s the last of the YouTube generation. And she’s teaching her 12-year-old sister. I could sit all day and watch them interact and paint each other's faces. I love it."
15. "Getting Botox in their trapezius muscles for appearance. My question is: Where are people finding these new insecurities? I never would have thought to get an injection to make my shoulders look less muscular for a wedding. It’s kind of heartbreaking."
16. "Posting about all their problems on social media as if that could possibly help. It's not going to. Getting away from social media might."
17. "Cusper here. I do not understand hook-up culture. Like, aren’t you afraid of STDs?? How can you just sleep with random people? It seems dangerous."
18. "I'm childless and this is just my unpopular opinion, but a TON of young mothers constantly post their kids' pictures on social media. I just think children have a right to privacy and you're not only taking that away from them but are also influencing them at a young age to constantly be on social media. I just hate that for kids."
19. "TBH, I think sharing your location is one of the best things that has come with this new generation. I feel a lot more at ease knowing my friends know where I’m at and vice versa. There’s too many things going on in the world, you can never be too safe!"
20. "Headphones are not accessories!!! This is my biggest beef with Gen Z. Fully wearing a pair of AirPods with no sound coming through them and considering it some kind of fashion statement. It's dumb and my old ass will happily die on this hill."
And just to end on a super wholesome note:
21. "I’m a 50-year-old woman. I think young people are amazing and that they’re going to make the world a better place than what we’ve given them. Rock on young women. You got this."
If you're an older woman, is there anything that confuses or surprises you about younger generations? Let us know in the comments! You can also fill out this form if you prefer to remain anonymous.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.