“My Friends All Smell Like Weed or Little Babies”: Taylor Swift Nails a Millennial Truth

“My Friends All Smell Like Weed or Little Babies”: Taylor Swift Nails a Millennial Truth

Taylor Swift’s latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, dropped today, and it’s full of the kinds of astute observations about millennial existence that we’ve come to expect from the pop star. Case in point: in her duet with Florence Welch, “Florida!!!”, she sings: “My friends all smell of weed or little babies.” Can you imagine a more succinct way of summing up the stark divide within the friendship groups of most 30-somethings?

Unlike the generations before us, millennials have delayed growing up for as long as possible. While college was supposed to be a gateway to adulthood, in many ways, it just kept us younger for longer, particularly if you went to the sort of school that encouraged binge drinking. When I graduated from Durham University in 2009, we were still in the midst of an economic downturn, and it was often said that we were entering the job market at one of the worst periods in history (to which Gen Z said: Hold my drink).

This stilted adulthood led to endless unpaid internships and a real despair around career progression, which—when coupled with the housing crisis and soaring rents—meant the chance of us ever owning property felt non-existent. With no end goal to focus on, many, particularly in London, instead spent their hard-earned money on enjoying everything youth had to offer (especially inebriation-wise). The rise of shared housing also spurred on never-ending parties and hangovers as we attempted to bond with our newfound friends, while the invention of Uber meant it was easier (and cheaper) to get home afterwards, too.

It was at the same time in the 2010s that dating apps first took off, giving us a seemingly endless conveyor belt of potential partners. This gamification of romance also led to more of us waiting to settle down, with a real “the grass is greener” psychology in place. And many of us still haven’t found the one—so, of course, we’re raving at Fred Again while we still can. Our parents were on average 24 (mom) and 27 (dad) when they got married in the 1970s; in 2019, that age had risen to 37 (women) and 39 (men). Meanwhile, the average age at which people have their first child is 30.9.

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