In "Millenial Perspective" our junior team member Tycho Knobbout gives his specific Millenial view on different subjects. Tycho is a 23 year old, 3rd grade student of International Lifestyle Studies in Tilburg. During his internship he writes about trends and how these relate to his generation. Read his second column; 'Shifting identities'
“Identity” is complex topic, what makes part of it and what mákes your identity. Of course this includes name, age and gender as basic characteristics of your identity.
We, the millennials, think differently about identity. Nowadays there is not solely the gender man or woman. For example, Facebook already has 71 gender options too choose from, such as Asexual, androgynous, transsexual and Intersex. These developments with regard to identity and individuality bring about a change in our view of identity. Identity is seen as a person's own identity and this uniqueness we are increasingly propagating instead of conforming to others. We live in a time when we have a great deal of freedom of choice, which enables us to develop at an increasingly individual level. We have been dealing with more and more diversity since the seventies and this diversity continues to grow. Gender equality has increased and the number of choices in studies has also increased. The difference between rich and poor has widened and the arrival of different nationalities also plays a role within this diversity. In addition, most of us nowadays in the western world are no longer bound to a religion. This gives us a lot of freedom and many choices that we can and want to make individually. This is how we like to distinguish ourselves from others and we want to be exclusive. In many retail concepts, personalisation is being reduced again. This was introduced years ago by Nike-ID but the big expected breakthrough did not happen. In 2018 we do seem to be ready for the trend personalisation. We want to have a personal choice that is unique and in keeping with our identity. For us, therefore, identity does not depend on age, name and gender, but it stands for individuality. This is called 'age elasticity' where age is a number, instead of something you should behave towards. Body positivity' is also a change of identity in which you love who you are and consider your 'flaw's' to be 'beauty spots'. Brands like Dove have been focusing their campaigns for years on 'women with real curves' and the time is right for more such companies. For example, Fenty-beauty focuses on make-up for the lightest and darkest skin tones. The retail industry finally seems to be listening to the real needs of consumers instead of producing articles for the masses. The webshop Asos is one of the first major players to focus on plussize collections, but Nike and Forever 21 will soon launch their first collections as well. After a time in which all models had to look 'perfect', now comes a time in which a great diversity can be seen. But there is also a counter movement For example, a gender discussion or a black-and-white discussion can still run high. The somewhat conservative movement thinks this development is something to be afraid of and they prefer to keep the distribution as it is. Suit Supply loses thousands of followers and customers by placing two kissing men on a poster. Hema was also in the spotlight last year because they decided to make the children's clothing gender neutral.
To emphasize this discussion, Louis Vuitton made a statement by using virtual models in a campaign so that their model could not be criticized, precisely in order to make this theme open to discussion. Louis Vuitton makes many statements on the theme of 'Shifting identities'.
They used Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son) as a model for the women's collection.
If this freedom of expression of our identity is threatened, we will stand up to these threats. This became clear when Trump came to power and hordes of people took to the streets to protest against this anti-women president. We are therefore taking this issue very seriously with a view to ultimately creating real freedom and equality in terms of identity.
Awareness and acceptance of this theme is increasing, so for example the transgender newsreader in Belgium will continue to be employed as a presenter after her transition and so we will stand up publicly by using hashtag #metoo against sexual abuse to protect our freedom of our own identity.