Last week actor Tom Holland made a shocking admission on a rare podcast appearance with Jay Shetty: he no longer drinks.
Not because he is a recovering alcoholic, but because he wanted to prove to himself he wasn't, and in turn, he discovered a life much more fulfilling.
Since this candid conversation, others of our generation have come forward admitting their sobriety and this posed a fascinating question: why is it that Get Z is embracing this lifestyle change, and should elegant women do the same?
Not long after Tom's podcast, DailyWire hosts Candace Owens and Brett Cooper published a joint video about their decisions to partake in the prohibition and the freedom they have found from it.
In this expose of alcohol, the two mentioned several fascinating facts and stats around Gen Z's rejection of alcohol, citing the abuse our parent's and grandparent's generations have committed and the increased health and emotional risks associated to over drinking. Rarely is this rejection because of a religious conviction, but instead a recognition that life is that much more fulfilling without a hangover.
A University of Michigan study recently found that the percentage of Gen Z abstaining from alcohol has significantly grown from 20-28% over the last two decades and the trend continues with a "sober curious" movement of Gen Z interested in doing the same, but not quite ready to give it all up.
This may be in part thanks to celebrities like Tom Holland, and Blake Lively, who are vocal about their commitment to sobriety. Lively has been sober since her days of starring on Gossip Girl and has admitted she simply doesn't "like the effects of alcohol". Brett and Candace touched on this distaste, especially when it comes to the guilt that comes with not remembering what was said or done, and the anxiety of not putting your best foot forward.
However, it can often feel isolating to not drink among friends-- a reason that is the primary instigator for many to begin drinking in the first place. To counter this, Lively has launched "Betty Buzz", a non-alcoholic cocktail line, for those who want to be social without imbibing alcohol.
And "Betty Buzz" isn't the only one. In most high profile and established restaurants today, a "mock-tail" menu is available for those who want to keep up with the fun, but be able to drive everyone home later.
So what about the elegant woman? One of the longstanding tenets of an elegant woman has always seemed to be that she is a great connoisseur of libations. And that is true, elegant women often have a palette to identify the notes of pear in their rosé... but never at the expense of sacrificing our sharp minds and quick wit.
In fact, elegant women use the rule of "subtraction" to remain mysterious, and creating intrigue around why you don't drink may be a great plume in your cap.
If your motivation to drink is purely social, I hope you recognize there is a growing movement of people who are recognizing there are other ways to socialize, to really be themselves and not hide behind the comfort of an ABV excusing behavior. As elegant women we are confident in who we are, and thanks to many alternatives rising like Betty Buzz and mock-tail menus, we can explore our personalities for who we truly are in social settings, without the future headaches, health issues, or genetics positioning us for future alcohol abuse.
But this doesn't mean we will never drink again. Perhaps on a special vacation with a spouse a few times a year your favorite wine will again take center stage. Or maybe not. But either way, Gen Z is presenting some surprising opportunities for us to feel our healthiest, brightest, and as this movement continues to grow and influence the world, it is likely that the social norms around alcohol consumption will continue to change, too.