Being from New England and heading into our third nor’easter this month (with predictions of yet another foot of snow!), I thought it would be the perfect time to tackle the “Millennials are Snowflakes” debacle.
I know I am a bit late to the game when it comes to standing up for millennials about this whole “snowflake” thing. Wikipedia already has a page about “generation snowflake”, explaining what it is, where it came from, etc… Merriam-Webster has even written about the topic. Then there are the countless articles on the internet about the topic.
COME ON PEOPLE! … Do you really dislike us THAT much that you need to create a freaking Wikipedia page explaining it?! (Insert eye roll and UGGHHHHH here)
Some history on the word “snowflake”:
- In the 1860’s, “snowflake” was used because people decided to stand up for what they believed in,and speak out about abolishing slavery because they believed it was wrong. And thank goodness they did…
- On the other hand, in the 1970’s, people used “snowflake” to describe whites and blacks who were perceived as acting too much like a white person. Last time I checked, we live in the free world, where we can say and act however the hell we want to…
- The term was again redefined in the 1999 movie “Fight Club”, when Chuck Palahniuk tells his fight club members, that they are nothing special, and are NOT unique like a snowflake.
- In 2015, it was used to poke fun of millennials for believing that they are special, and too fragile, like a snowflake, for today’s world. One article that really irked me described “snowflakes” as “someone who dissolves into a puddle when the going gets tough”. In essence, a person who is unfit for purpose. I can’t even begin with that one…
- And most recently it was used during the 2016 presidential election by the Republicans to insult Democratic liberals for their focus on individual rights, minorities, etc.
Now as annoying as it is that my generation was lumped into this name calling and stigma of sucking (yet again!), there is clearly a bigger issue here than just standing up for millennials.
Every single time the term “snowflake” was used, it was intended to put down an individual or a group of people, for thinking and acting differently than the large majority or “mainstream”. Why do “we”, “others”, “everyone”, or however you want to phrase it, feel the need to make fun of, insult, and demoralize those who choose to be, think and act differently? Why is it that even a thing? And the worst part is that this practice has been going on for centuries!!
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything nice at all.”
We can all use a little reminder of this lesson we were taught in preschool. It is amazing how few ADULTS can actually play nice together in the sandbox these days.
But more than that, why is it a bad thing to be different?
Why do we have to be so self-righteous and thick headed and believe that it’s a black-and-white /my-way-or-the-highway, kind of world?
Thank God for the people who have stood up for others and human rights. Thank God for the individuals who chose to rise above criticism and follow their hearts and let themselves be their authentic selves. They paved a path to a diverse, authentic, loving, and beautiful world.
Those who did great things, and never followed the norm. Those who spoke out and stood up for what they believed in, creating massive change… Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt — all leaders who have massively shaped the world we live in because they stuck to who they were, and followed their hearts.
I believe I speak for myself, and all other “snowflakes” out there, in saying:
You may think that we believe we are special, weak, and will melt once the hot pressure is put upon us. But just wait and see – our belief in our uniqueness and ability to make a difference will only strengthen over time and, and we will move the world forward because of it.
Your attempt to divide us and make us feel insignificant, will only do the opposite— It will unite and motivate us!
And in case you forgot, one “snowflake” may not be intimidating at first, but when the millions of us stand together, we create a god*%mn blizzard – wreaking havoc and creating massive change.
Hope you’re prepared for the storm!
All my love,
“A unique little snowflake named Emily” 🙂