Gen Z is allegedly ‘aging like milk’ and this TikTok star’s proof has people rolling
Every generation eventually reaches the point where they realize they’re aging, but apparently Gen Z is hitting that milestone a lot earlier than most. Despite—or perhaps because of—growing up during the biggest anti-aging beauty product boom the world has ever seen, the young folks born between 1997 and 2012 are gaining a reputation for looking old before their time.
How can anyone who is younger than 27 look old, you may ask? It’s a valid question. According to one cosmetic doctor, young adults are engaging in anti-aging interventions like fillers and Botox prematurely, which ironically is making them “age” faster. Another culprit could be that smoking and vaping have taken hold of Gen Z in a way that their millennial predecessors generally managed to avoid.
According to Jordan Howlett, better known as Jordan the Stallion on TikTok, it’s “mainly because of the stress” that Gen Z is “aging like milk.” But it’s Howlett’s own personal anecdotes of looking older than his age as a Gen Zer that has people marveling—and laughing out loud.
Howlett is at the oldest end of Gen Z at age 26, but he shares that he is often mistaken for twice his age.
“We live in a time now where millennials look way younger for their age while Gen Z looks way older for their age. If you don’t believe me, I’m Gen Z,” Howlett says, zooming in on his gotta-be-older-than-26 face. “I am Gen Z and nobody ever believes me.”
Howlett explains that people mistake his mom for his younger sister and that when he say he’s going to hang out with his family, people assume he means his kids.
“I don’t have kids,” he says. “I’m talking about my parents. I’m still the child.”
He points out that Zendaya and Tom Holland are older than him (only by a year, but still).
Then he shares a story about getting an autograph from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who talked to him like he was a peer—The Rock is 52 years old—and it’s hilarious.
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People in the comments were incredulous that he actually is only 26.
“Ain’t no way in the world this man is gen Z. This generation be recycling ancestors 😂 wtf 😂,” wrote one person.
“Forget about the beard. It’s his voice 😂. Bro got the voice of someone who walked hand in hand with MLK,” joked another.
“On behalf of the millennials we accept you as our own,” wrote another.
To be fair, Howlett shared in another video that he might be more millennial than Gen Z at heart. Watch him talk about the “millennial zoom” vs. the “Gen Z zoom.”
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In all seriousness, though, there may be something behind the “trying so hard not to age that they are actually aging faster” thing with Gen Z. We’re seeing pre-teens asking for skincare products for Christmas, for the love. Nobody in Gen Z really needs an anti-aging anything, and using certain products too early can actually backfire.
“Some skin care products claim to increase cell turnover or to repair collagen breakdown,” Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center, told WebMD. “In your 20s, you have excellent turnover without any help, and your skin is fully capable of repairing itself. The downside is that these products may irritate your skin or make it more sensitive to the sun.”
In fact, daily sunscreen and avoiding smoking are the most important “anti-aging” habits for teens and young adults who want to keep wrinkles and other signs of aging at bay.
It may just be a fear of aging from constant anti-aging messaging and unrealistic social media filters that has Gen Z worrying so much about looking old and going to great pains to prevent it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to slow down the aging process or not wanting to look older than we actually are, but there’s also nothing wrong with getting older—at all. It’s literally how time works. We’re all getting older every minute of every day, and our bodies are naturally going to show that progression.
Take it from a Gen X elder, young folks. What you do with those minutes matters far more than any creases or lines on your face.
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