Older and younger generations have always had a difficult time seeing eye to eye when it comes to interests and beliefs. Now Generation Z, or “Zoomers” as the generation just younger than millennials are sometimes known, have figured out a new and impressively easy way to give the metaphorical middle finger to Baby Boomers and bygone ways of thinking — all while making loads of cash, according to a new feature in the New York Times.
“OK Boomer.” The feelings our youngest adults direct towards their elders have been wrapped up into those two words. They’ve also been plastered across T-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, socks, and viral TikTok videos.
While on the surface it may look like “OK Boomer” could be just another meme, some of the teens and young adults producing these products and content are actually turning pretty major profits.
One woman the Times profiled, a 19-year-old named Shannon O’Connor, says she has received over $10,000 in orders from her online store that sells T-shirts styled like take-out bags that replace “Thank You” with “OK Boomer.”
O’Connor isn’t alone reaping the profits from “OK Boomer” merchandise, which can now be found on major retail sites like Redbubble and Amazon. Among the products we found for sale are vintage-style buttons, “OK Boomer” stickers, mugs, iPhone cases, notebooks, and throw pillows in the shape of the Domino's logo, an "OK Boomer" shower curtain, and a very post-ironic boomer-mocking shirt that simply reads “Phone Bad Wife Bad.”
What does “OK Boomer” mean exactly? Basically it’s a catch phrase that sums up how younger people respond to the criticism and judgment of older generations — who should bear the blame for much of what’s wrong with the world today, members of Gen Z believe. “OK Boomer” has gained traction because it packs a punch with an appropriately dismissive, sarcastic, and flippant tone that sassy “young people” have become known for nowadays.
Some might say the slogan is cruel, but for young people whose future is weighed down by unprecedented amounts of student debt and low wages, and the uncertainty of how climate change will affect their lives, “OK Boomer” sends a message to a generation that tends to lack empathy for their younger counterparts. One woman the Times spoke to, 18-year-old Nina Kasman stated, “Everyone in my generation can relate to that experience and we’re all really frustrated by it.”
For those who can’t relate, or find the meme offensive, well… OK Boomer.
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