17 Things Gen Z Refuses to Accept

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By Darryl Henderson

Born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z have grown up with technology and shifting societal attitudes. As a result of these shifts, Gen Z have adopted a new mindset which differs from older generations, just like these 17 things Gen Z absolutely refuses to accept.

Traditional Gender Norms

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Years ago, people were categorized as men and women, but these days, Gen Z are rejecting traditional gender norms and binary labels. Instead, they embrace gender fluidity; it’s common to hear non-binary pronouns such as “they/them” as people are becoming more gender-neutral and liberal. We’re all for it!

Climate Change Denial

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Gen Z acknowledges the urgency and importance of climate change, especially because they are becoming more aware of environmental issues and looking after our planet. As a result, they demand action from governments and corporations, advocating for implementing sustainable practices in daily life.

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

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LGBTQ+ rights are passionately supported by Gen Z, with CNN highlighting that among Gen Z adults ages 18–25, 72% identified as straight, 15% as bisexual, 5% as gay or lesbian, and 8% as “something else.” Discriminatory language or behavior towards these groups is not tolerated, so be kind!

Body Shaming and Unrealistic Beauty Standards

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The younger generation do not tolerate fad diets, body shaming and unrealistic beauty standards. Instead, they support body positivity movements, accepting people that come in all shapes and sizes. Younger social media influencers promote self-love over perfection to try and promote diversity to their audience, which we love.

Traditional Education Models

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Thanks to modern technology, Gen Z has been able to turn to online learning options and reject archaic forms of teaching and testing. Learning on virtual platforms has been widely favored by Gen Z, especially because it allows them to study from the comfort of their own home!

Traditional Career Paths

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Traditional career paths that were enforced years ago do not go down well with Gen Z, who prefer entrepreneurship and freelancing over traditional jobs. In fact, Forbes notes that Gen Z and young Millennial engagement with work dropped four points between 2019 and 2022, but that’s all changing thanks to remote work.

Financial Instability and Debt

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While older generations may have been ignorant to finances, Gen Z is wary of accruing debt, especially from student loans. This is mostly because of technology which has made financial management resources accessible; financial literacy and independence are valued with many younger people considering savings and investment strategies.

Traditional Marriage and Family Structures

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Marriage is seen as optional rather than obligatory for many belonging to Gen Z. Rather than shunning alternative family structures, they are becoming more welcoming to the concept of having a blended family, while parenthood is approached with flexibility, considering adoption and surrogacy.

Censorship and Lack of Free Speech

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As Gen Z values self-expression, free expression, and even controversial opinions are defended. Rather than silencing others, these individuals will openly criticize social media platforms that adopt censorship practices. They have no interest in curbing the thoughts of others and will consider viewpoints from different people.

Mental Health Stigma

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Nowadays, younger people tend to take part in open discussions about mental health, simultaneously rejecting old stereotypes about people who are mentally ill. This is because The Guardian reveals that one in three 18- to 24-year-olds now report symptoms indicating they have experienced a mental health problem, so it needs addressing.

Traditional Media Consumption

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Streaming services and social media platforms are primary sources of entertainment for those in the younger generation. Developing technologies have made traditional and physical media seem outdated, and as a result, Gen Z are consuming media in new and unique ways, rejecting cable TV and the traditional press.

Political Apathy

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In contemporary society, Gen Z is politically engaged and active; they will try to stay involved in political discussions and organize grassroots movements and protests through social media. Young politicians and activists are also gaining visibility and influence, encouraging other young people to get involved in politics rather than ignore them.

Ageism and Dismissal of Youth Voices

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Ageism is not tolerated by young people as Gen Z demands to be taken seriously in political and social discussions. They refuse to be categorized by older people as naive or ignorant by taking part in youth-led initiatives and activism that challenge ageist stereotypes. We certainly support them!

Inequality and Social Injustice

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According to the BBC, because Gen Z was born into a digitally connected world, they are acutely aware of the social justice and environmental movements shaking up the status quo. They are completely against racial inequality and will take a stance against police brutality and systemic racism. Too right!

Cultural Appropriation

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Cultural sensitivity and respect are emphasized by Gen Z who think it is their duty to protect people belonging to different groups and honor diverse cultures. If they witness appropriation of marginalized cultures, the perpetrators will be called out and condemned without question.

Environmental Exploitation

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Environmental exploitation is not supported by younger people who push for sustainable and eco-friendly practices instead. Conservation efforts and climate activism are prioritized by Gen Z who will passionately take part in boycotts of environmentally harmful companies to take a stance against them and generate awareness. It’s powerful to see in action. 

Lack of Diversity in Media Representation

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Finally, diversity and inclusion are demanded across all forms of media partly because of the calls made by Gen Z for fairer representation. These calls for authentic representation of marginalized communities are vocalized by Gen Z, who want media companies to diversify the types of people they are portraying. That’s how it should be.