Boomer Trailblazing: 10 Modern Trends That Aren’t as New as Gen Z Thinks

By Krystal Brown

The notion that modern trends are entirely novel to Gen Z overlooks the fact that these concepts have historical roots dating back to earlier generations, particularly boomers.

Minimalist Design

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Minimalism is a widely acclaimed buzzword for prioritising essentials at the expense of ineffective glamours. This has been ongoing since last century, with people drifting towards the cost-effective and eco-friendly approach to the designs of their homes. A minimalist home design expresses simplicity through the limited usage of materials, appreciation of simple forms, and neutral colours that sidestep the excess ornamentation typical in some houses. This tradition has been ongoing since times immemorial, even before the birth of most GenZ. 

DIY Home Improvement 

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This is a simple do-it-yourself method of adding elegance to your home, scaling it to the top level. DIY home improvement has been a revelation for hundreds of years by those who want their home to reflect their personality and style. They do this by filling their homes with ornaments, artwork, paintings and other adornments they are fond of. The public opinion about this method of home improvement is that the GenZ are the ones that brought out the idea. While in reality, DIY home improvement has been around hundreds of years ago. 


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The first mention of yoga was more than 5,000 years ago in northern India, and modern yoga techniques gained widespread popularity in the 1970s. This story shows the flawed idea that the yoga trend is new and that GenZ drives its popularity. Yoga is a phenomenal outlet to connect the mind, body and spirits, which, if practised well, will promote endurance, flexibility, calmness, and well-being. It is a great disservice to think this ancient practice was brought to the limelight and first done by the GenZ. 

Retro Style 

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Retro style has been around for quite some time and is epitomised by the imitative trendy styles of the yesteryears. This can be in the form of music, fashion and attitudes, which have been in vogue since the 1970s. The incursion of this style into the modern psychic gained so many rave reviews from music stars and footballers who influenced the adoption of the style among the GenZ. However, most of the contemporary adopters of retro styles have the option that this was what they were doing, and it’s a new style base on a lack of history or the demographic of people that influenced them. This is far from the truth because most boomers once used a Mitsuoka motor in the 90s. 

Home Office Setup

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In the era of remote work and the gig economy that allows the possibility of working from no home, most GenZ has adopted the option of setting up a home office to ease their workload and optimise their efficiency. The home office is a designated space you set aside for working in your home. The idea behind the home office was borne out of necessities which the GenZ thought the boomers had never experienced before; thereby, they had never experienced the possibility of a home office in their time. This is far from reality because boomers also had a fair share of the 1968 pandemic (H3N2), which required them to set up a home office. 

Street Art 

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Street art expresses emotion or messages through artwork displayed in public places like bridges, trains, streets and other publicly viewed areas. However, most people that do this are mostly anonymous, especially any arts related to political issues. This is a trendy form of artistic expression nowadays that people are gravitating towards in a show of brilliance; the majority of GenZ think street art is a new concept, unbeknown to them that street art has been around since the 20th century and the evolution around this complex form of artistic expression was started by the boomers in the 1960s. 

Online Dating 

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Finding a romantic partner online is among the trendy things that GenZ classified as new, but it is not. The rise of online dating apps like Tinder and others has beclouded their judgment and given them a bubble of classifying online dating as a new phenomenon. This is not the case because the idea of internet dating was first introduced in 1959 when the first matchmaking questionnaire was created by IBM, followed by the launch of data-mate in 1968. 


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Athleisure is sports clothing that can be comfortably worn as everyday wear and, at the same time, serves the athletic purpose. These include tight joggers, shorts, sneakers and others. Athleisure is a fashion that has been around for quite some time but was reintroduced into our domain based on its comfortability and fashion appeal. The general opinion of most GenZ was that Athleisure is a new fashion idea that they base on the notion that fashion brands like Nike, Lululemon, and others popularised it. In reality, Athleisure has been around since the 1970s and was pioneered by boomers and popularised through the hip-hop music videos of the 1980s.  

Virtual Reality 

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Virtual reality immerses individuals into a computer-generated environment where they can interact with artificial three-dimensional visual and other sensory environments. This is an immersion into a computer-generated environment that simulates reality with interactive devices such as headsets, body suits, goggles, and others worn on the body. It’sIt’s myopic to categorise virtual reality as a new technology that boomers were not privy to. History says otherwise because virtual reality was invented in the 1950s, and the first VR head-mounted display was developed in 1968; it gained prominence in the 1980s. These timelines prove that boomers did it first, and it wasn’twasn’t as new as GenZ thinks. 

Body Positivity 

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Body positivity is about accepting all body shapes, skin color, and sizes. This social movement tries to change the modern-day beauty standard denigrating specific body sizes and looks. Against the idea that this movement was just getting the necessary attention by GenZ, the body positivity movement has been in place since the 1960s when a New York radio host held a fat acceptance campaign to end the idea of fat shaming. 

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