As a millennial, I fondly remember the hay day of side parts, poufs, body con, and yes, skinny jeans.
I’m also willing to wager that in 5-10 years all those trends will be making a comeback because fashion is nothing if not cyclical. But, I digress. This is now, and according to TikTok/Gen Z, the side part is aging you.
The debate has struck a particular chord with both generations, and where everyone stands on the middle versus center doesn’t fit so neatly with age. Either way, we’re gluttons for punishment so Mane Addicts sent me into the field to investigate exactly why Gen Z hates the side part.
For reference, here is the video that started the side part/generational war. In it, the user says the middle part is “far more supreme” and that everyone looks better with a middle part – these parts are “gracious,” even. The user has bangs so it’s kind of a strange flex to call out parts of any kind but that’s not the point. The point is that we’re playing devil’s advocate, and we want to know why side parts are so bad.
Gen Z Is Laissez-faire About Hair
My first stop on the journey into the minds of Gen Z is my 15-year-old cousin Milo (he has a very Gen Z name, so you know it’s legit). Milo is the first to admit that Gen Z’s tastes probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Gen Z, like every generation that emerges, defines itself by rejecting the norms of its predecessor while also co-opting various trends – for instance, 90s jeans and butterfly hair clips or emo music, all of which have recently made a comeback.
Frizz Is Cool
The fact that Milo, LMAOs at the idea of frizz being undesirable is probably the real meat to this story. You heard it here first, olds.
Middle Parts Create Order
My next stop on the Gen Z opinion tour is my boyfriend’s cousin, Sable who is 18. She notes that although she doesn’t “mind side parts” she mainly only does them when she slicks her hair back into a bun. “Other than that, I wear my hair down the middle because the side part makes my head look weird. The side part tends to accentuate my forehead or make it look uneven, while the middle part evens out the look for both sides as well as overall appearance.”
I could take this a stretch further and say that middle parts create a sense of symmetry and, therefore, calm – something that is in short supply these days. Middle parts are the easy hairdo equivalent of perfection, you can control it and if all goes according to plan, your hair will look ordered and by proxy you will look put together. Maybe middle parts in 2021 are the anecdote to carefree side parts, which embody a “let my hair fall where it may, alls well because it’s 2011 and pandemics are just film plots” energy.
For those who are willing to try a center part – and many, many millennials have taken on the challenge—we applaud your willingness to coopt out new trends, even if it’s outside your hair’s comfort zone. There’s nothing wrong with a mane reset every decade, after all.