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Millennials, a generation known for setting and following unique trends, have seen their fair share of fads come and go. Some of these trends have left a lasting positive impact, while others… not so much. Reflecting back, there’s a mix of nostalgia and a touch of regret for some of these choices. From the quirky and eccentric to the downright questionable, here are 21 trends that many millennials look back on with a sense of bewilderment, asking themselves, “What were we really thinking?”
Obsessive Smartphone Upgrades
The rush to get the latest smartphone model every year became a hallmark of millennial tech habits. Many now view this continuous upgrade cycle as unnecessary and environmentally unfriendly.
The Quinoa Craze
Quinoa became the superfood of the moment, popping up in every dish imaginable. While healthy, the trend reached a point where it was more about the hype than the actual benefits, leaving some millennials reflecting on the excess.
Over-the-Top Gender Reveal Parties
While celebrating a new life is always joyous, some gender reveal parties went to extreme lengths, leading to unintended consequences and even disasters.
The Man Bun
This hairstyle had its moment, but many now cringe at old photos of their lofty top knots.
The Obsession with Avocado Toast
Yes, it’s delicious, but was it worth being blamed for not affording a house because of it?
Initially seen as a healthier alternative to smoking, the consequences of vaping became more evident over time.
The Ice Bucket Challenge
While it raised awareness for ALS, not everyone was thrilled about dumping cold water on their heads, especially in hindsight.
From lattes to makeup, the unicorn trend was everywhere, and now it feels a bit overdone.
Fast Fashion Frenzy
The thrill of cheap, trendy clothes has given way to concerns about sustainability and ethical production.
Constantly Documenting Life on Snapchat
Some moments are better lived than snapped, a realization many millennials came to after years of chronicling every moment.
They neither hover nor are they boards, and many ended up collecting dust after the initial excitement wore off.
The “Live, Laugh, Love” Decor
This phrase graced many a millennial’s wall, but it’s now seen as a bit cliché.
The Rise and Fall of Fidget Spinners
A fun distraction at first, but many millennials now wonder why they were so obsessed.
The “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge”
A risky trend that had many chasing after fuller lips, often with painful results.
Extreme Eyebrow Trends
From “Instagram brows” to wavy and braided eyebrows, some of these trends are now viewed with a mix of amusement and horror.
A dance move that became so ubiquitous, even politicians were doing it. Enough said.
The Obsession with Mason Jars
While they’re handy for storage, their use in every DIY project and wedding decor became a bit much.
Adult Coloring Books
Relaxing for some, but many millennials now have stacks of half-finished books lying around.
The “Raw Water” Movement
The idea of drinking untreated water, despite the health risks, makes many shake their heads in retrospect.
The Return of the Choker
A ’90s trend that made a comeback, but not all millennials were thrilled to see it return.
The “Will It?” YouTube Challenges
From blending to deep frying, these challenges were entertaining but also incredibly wasteful.
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.