a peek into the topics buzzing at Cassandra

How is it already the last Friday of January, 2024? We’re back with our weekly recap of viral news, capturing the pulse of trending news that has Gen Z buzzing. This week, we’ll talk about Barbie Oscar nominations (or lack thereof), Gen Z’s accelerated aging, and MrBeast’s recent earnings from X. Let’s dive in!


This past Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year’s Oscars nominations and the online conversation really picked up with controversy and outrage. Even though there is some good news like a historic first time Native American acting nomination for Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), the majority of the online discourse is not staying quiet and Gen Zs are denouncing through opinion pieces and memes how baffling —and honestly ironic, if you watched the movie— it is that a movie about feminism, the patriarchy, and well, women, didn’t bring nominations to the two women leading the charge. Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie (Barbie) were snubbed from nods in the best directing and best actress race respectively, even though Barbie was critically acclaimed as the highest grossing film of 2023 and of all female directors’ history. The only actors from Barbie nominated, America Ferrera and Ryan Gosling, released statements sharing how grateful they were for the recognition but also how baffled they also are about the snub. Even though some Gen Zs were critical about how the famous monologue of the movie was a little “Feminism 101”, they’re now taking it to TikTok to discuss how it was actually still so necessary.


Recent social posts are getting attention for observations of how Gen Zs look older at their age than other, older generations. Theories are circulating about the differences in aging among Gen Zs compared to Millennials, in which some have deemed it the ‘death of the preteen’. Some attribute the onset of vaping among teens and young adults as the cause of early aging. Others believe the latest beauty trends, like use of anti-aging serums, botox injections, and plastic surgeries play a role. @jordan_the_stallion8 makes the case that due to the stressors felt by his generation, “Millennials look way younger for their age, while Gen Z looks way older for their age”. Gen Z’s newfound preoccupation with aging can be correlated with being the generation “raised on social media” who are “uniquely ambushed” by social influence and industry marketing. Perhaps it’s just the simple realization that Gen Z is starting to experience the universal anxiety related to aging. Welcome to the club!


Since acquiring Twitter (now known as X), major advertisers have left the platform due to concerns about content and endorsements made by owner, Elon Musk. Musk has been trying to boost X’s revenue by launching premium subscription services, including videos by YouTube star, MrBeast. MrBeast initially rejected Musk’s request, stating, “my videos cost millions to make and even if they got a billion views on X, it wouldn’t fund a fraction of it.” However, MrBeast later agreed to test a video upload to X to compare his earnings. He announced his first video made over $250,000 (approximately $100,000 more than what he earned on YouTube) and attributes this success to the incessant promotion of his video. MrBeast has jokingly been after Twitter’s ownership since 2022, and has now contributed to the vision Musk has for X.