Some peeps (and by some peeps I mean mostly the olds, obvs) like to say that Millennials are a generation that’s been raised to believe that each and every one of them deserve a prize just for, well, being present. But who can blame them? Millennials’ Gen X and Baby Boomer parents basically invented the parenting technique known as the Overprotective Helicopter Coddle, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to older generations that some members of Gen Y have come to expect special recognition—even if it’s sometimes unwarranted.
Looking back at 2015, conversations about and attention aimed at Millennials seem to have reached a fever pitch, as marketers and media continue to unabashedly court this highly desirable demographic. So much about Millennials’ likes and dislikes have been dissected and scrutinized by a buncha marketing types over the past year that it would kinda sorta inevitably make a group feel like it’s special or somethin’, ya know?
TBH, many Millennial people and trends rightfully garnered the spotlight in 2015, and what’s a year-end recap without giving out a coupla year-end awards, amirite? To wit, here are some Very Special Highlights and Lowlights of the Year in Millennials, a.k.a., the Millenny Awards.
Millennial Trend of the Year: Insta-Names
Move over, Sophia and Jackson. Millennial parents have started to name their kids after Instagram filters, which apparently is a legit thing. As long as Clarendon, Perpetua, Lo-fi and Hefe don’t crack the various and sundry annual lists of Top Baby Names, humanity is probably still safe.
Millennial Hater of the Year: Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
The middle-aged president of Christian liberal arts Oklahoma Wesleyan University admonished an entire generation by writing in an open letter—titled, “This is Not Day Care! It’s a University!”—that all gosh-darned kids today are “self-absorbed and narcissistic,” to which the entire student body responded by slowly lowering their shades and chanting in unison, “Deal with it.”
Millennial Businessperson of the Year: Taylor Swift
After yanking her discography from Spotify last year and dismissing music streaming services as “experiments” that too easily take financial advantage of music artists, 26-year-old Swift partnered with Apple Music this year and inked a deal to exclusively stream a new documentary of her 1989 World Tour. Glitches and playback issues aside, Swift’s power move isn’t one that other streaming services could shake off.
Millennial Presidential Campaign of the Year: Feel the Bern
’Cuz nothin’ says being in touch with the youth vote like a 74-year-old presidential hopeful who knows a thing or two about computer hacking.
Millennial Douchebag of the Year: Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli
After infamously jacking up the price of a lifesaving HIV drug by 5,000%, 32-year-old Shkreli was nabbed on securities fraud for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The fate of Wu-Tang Clan’s singular, unreleased CD, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which Shkreli secretly purchased at auction for $2 million, was unknown at press time.
Millennial Cause of the Year: #BlackLivesMatter
While the Occupy Wall Street movement kinda sorta came and went, Black Lives Matter continues to gain traction, thanks in large part to Gen Y. As the most ethnically and socio-economically diverse generation, Millennials are driving the conversation about systemic institutional racism, gaining allies, and forcing critics to pay attention—whether they want to or not.
Millennial CEO of the Year: Mark Zuckerberg
After the birth of his daughter, Maxima, the 31-year-old founder, chairman, and CEO of Facebook first made Millennial news by extending parental leave at Facebook (and taking time off of his own to be with his family), then announcing that he and his wife Priscilla Chan would give away a huge portion of their wealth to establish a foundation to help “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.” Millennial do-gooders, indeed.
Millennial Movie of the Year: “Star Wars The Force Awakens”