THE IDENTITY OF GEN ALPHA
The younger generation’s new approach to puberty
Generation Alpha – the next generational cohort coming up after Gen Zs, who today are roughly 12 and under – takes ownership over their identity. They are curious and openly challenge outdated notions around gender and sexuality and everything else. According to our new report, Gen Alpha: Generation Infinite, 84% of Gen Alphas surveyed believe a person's pronouns should be respected and fight for the right for people to be able to express who they are. With the first of Gen Alpha poised to turn 13 in 2023, we’re taking a look at three brands that are embracing inclusivity and fluidity as Alphas approach puberty.
The brainchild of Cara Natterson, MD, a pediatrician and author of the bestselling puberty series The Care and Keeping of You, and Vanessa Kroll, the founder of Dynamo Girl, a company that builds kids’ self-esteem through sports, Oomla seeks to “make puberty comfy” with their line of inclusive underwear for tweens. Currently, they have two SKUs – a hardware-free bra made from a patented design that promises to be secure without binding, and gender-neutral low-crotch sleep shorts. Next up? Stink-free sock, a true must-have for puberty. Natterson and Kroll also host The Puberty Podcast, which provides guidance for adults with tweens, and run The Puberty Portal, a platform publishing puberty content written by and for tweens and teens.
As a way of getting young people excited about their latest brand, an inclusive line called Gap Teen, the retailer unveiled an immersive virtual experience on Roblox, the preferred platform for the under-13 crowd. Created in collaboration with SuperAwesome, a “kidtech” company that designs digital games for young people, Club Roblox Boutique mimics the vibe of shopping in an IRL Gap Teen store. There’s a fashion show game called Style Stage, a photo booth, and even a juice bar. Though the experience is purchase-free – an important factor for many young people, who prefer gratis virtual experiences from brands – the activation features digital replicas of items in the current Gap Teen collection, so young consumers can shop what they see in Roblox.
Victoria’s Secret, a company not historically known for its inclusivity, launched Happy Nation, a sub-brand designed for tweens that’s both size-inclusive and gender-free. Offerings include hoodies, bras, period undies, and puberty-friendly body care (“Happy Body,” for example, is a 3-1 wash for hair, skin, and bubble baths that’s free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and palm oil). The brand isn’t available in brick and mortar stores, but is digitally-focused: in addition to its e-commerce website, it has a sizable footprint on social media and, crucially, on Roblox. Like Gap, Victoria’s Secret tapped Super Awesome to create its Roblox presence. The themes of each obstacle course involve topics important to Alphas – environmental sustainability, charitable giving, and community – and for every Roblox player who completes the obstacles, Happy Nation will donate one pair of underwear, up to 10,500, to Undies for Everyone through July 31.
Click here for more news about Cassandra’s Gen Alpha report!