Cultural memory is getting shorter, with mass digitisation causing people to seek solace in the recent past. But it’s not solely about innocence – ‘nowstalgia’ is fuelled by a desire to reimagine and right perceived wrongs. So, how is a meme mindset impacting Gen Z’s media consumption and style?
Emma Hope Allwood is a writer and editorial/creative consultant specialising in fashion, social media, and digital strategy. She worked at Dazed from 2014 to 2020, and her previous role as head of fashion encompassed directing all digital fashion content and social media as well as ideating on partnerships with brands including Converse, Gucci, Dior, and Maison Margiela.
Günseli Yalçinkaya is a writer, freelance editor, and digital assistant at Dazed Digital. Born in Istanbul and raised in the UK, her work sits at the intersection of visual arts, music, and internet culture, with interviews including Björk, Chloe Sevigny, Studio Ghibli, and Werner Herzog. Her long-reads on hyperpop and digital euphoria are featured in Dazed's winter and spring/summer 2021 issues.
Tilly Foulkes is a Welsh music and culture writer based in Liverpool. Foulkes writes about how music shapes culture and personal identity with a particular focus on the experiences of LGBTQ+ people. She is also a keen zine practitioner, contributing to the collective zine project Quaranzeens and the fan-created music criticism zine To The Ends of the Earth. Her work has also appeared in Bido Lito! and Wales Arts Review, with a forthcoming piece in Polyester.
Matilda Ruck is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8. She has a degree in politics and philosophy as well as a foundation in psychotherapy. She's passionate about exploring the interplay between creativity, psychology and culture. Outside of work, you can find her writing short stories, tending to her ginger cat Thomas O’Malley, or oscillating between yoga and karaoke practice.
Bella Gladman is a London-based writer and brand consultant. Previously part of the features team at ASOS Magazine, she now is part of the SHOWstudio editorial team and writes for independent fashion and culture titles including Dazed & Confused, Garage, Kinfolk and Wonderland, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened physical and mental health while fuelling economic and political instability. To escape this chaos, many people have sought comfort in nostalgic TV shows and films – but do they only want reruns? Can reboots of old favourites offer the same sense of escape?
Gen Zers' obsession with the Y2K era is sparking a second-hand clothes boom. Young people are embracing ‘nowstalgia’, which is to feel nostalgic simultaneously for both everything and nothing. In other words, they’re increasingly adopting unattached and YOLO mindsets, fuelling the deadstock surge.
Whether they've listened to music on vinyl records or captured memories with Polaroid cameras, Gen Zers have found comfort in nostalgia during the pandemic. According to research, this emotional affinity for eras not personally experienced is called 'communal nostalgia'.
As anxieties around COVID-19 have segued into a deeper and more consistent malaise, a longing for simpler times has caused some people to reshape everyday behaviours around comforting goods and long-established rituals. How is this sense of nostalgia impacting beauty and wellness habits?