So AdWeek published a nice little segmented list by Exponential putting us Millennials in even more specific hipster-boxes (Are These The 12 Types Of Millennials?) . My first thought was, "12?! That's a hell of a lot of groups to target." After actually reading the list my thought was, "WTF?!"
Perhaps the insult started when I found myself fitting best into the very first segment --> "Boss Babes". Okay, so let's give a great empowering title to women, and then degrade it by using 'babes'. Strike one.
Next, I saw "Brogrammers". Need I go on?! If anything, this list feels like a satire of the Millennial culture. There's words used in it I haven't heard since college, and even then they weren't cool.
How are titles like "The Underemployed", "Shut Out" and "Quarter-Life Crisis Millennial" supposed to give us any more cred in the current job force that already looks down on Milliennials as being a spoiled, selfish , lazy generation?!
This article comes at a timely moment for me, as I was just discussing this in a meeting this morning with a group of fellow Millennials. We all have great jobs, a strong work ethic and accomplishments under our belt --> and we are SICK of the media throwing us into a large trashcan and calling us all a lazy generation that's hurting the world.
So, what can be done?! There is obviously a HUGE stereotype out there that this article strongly speaks to, yet it seems, as with most stereotypes, only the negative qualities are amplified. The most grotesque thing about Exponential's portrayal of this generation is the off-target photos it uses to illustrate us. From a girl that looks like she's taking a drunk selfie to another girl with her lollipop at work --> SERIOUSLY?!
Now I'm not saying there aren't real people out there that fall into all 12 of these categories, but I AM saying that the box they fall into isn't as boxed-in as AdWeek makes it out to be. Of course, these are generalizations, but COME ON. You seriously can't define empowered women with a more empowering title, or wicked smart tech geeks with a respected title?
I don't have a solution for counteracting assanine articles and stereotypes, except that each Millennial needs to speak LOUDER about the good they are doing, their accomplishments, their positive traits --> not only to show the world we're better than they paint us to be, but to encourage each other that no matter what the world (media) had to say, we are an ACTIVE, POSITIVE, ENGAGED generation working to solve problems that generations before created for us.
To start my chain of events, I am going to feature one Millennial bi-monthly that is doing AMAZING things. Then you can draw your own stereotypes and generalizations from real Millennials doing real things. Check back next week for my first featured "bro", and if you know of any Millennials kicking ass, contact me. Sincerely, your Boss Babe.
- Marji J. Sherman