The Perennials Are Here! Love this, but is it too self-referential?



Came across The What newsletter and subscribed immediately. It’s written by Gina Pell and Amy Parker, two former dotcommers who sold their business and started The What List as a labor of love.

And they’re sick of millennials and make a great case for how much more inspiring it is to strive for perennialism.

According to Gina Pell (self-identified Perennial #1), you can claim perennial status and life-long relevancy (no matter your age) if you are:

  • Ever-blooming and always curious
  • Live in the present time
  • Know what’s happening in the world
  • Stay current with technology
  • Have some hustle in you
  • Have friends of all ages

Read on below for examples of who might be considered perennials.

Where they lose me a bit is when they name a host of fascinating people who are influential and aspirational and lump them together as perennials – seems way too self-serving and self-congratulatory e.g.

Perennials have a wide appeal and spread ideas and commerce faster than any single generation. Lady Gaga + Tony Bennett, Lena Dunham + Jenni Konner, Beyoncé + Jay-Z, Bob Dylan, Pharrell Williams, Justin Trudeau, Ellen DeGeneres, Malala, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, Elon Musk, Bernie Sanders, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lorne Michaels, Ai Weiwei, Aziz Ansari, the little girl on Stranger Things … #Perennials

That said, I do feel that in today’s culture, people are freer than ever before to follow their muses and to reinvent themselves as they see fit. I agree with Gina and Amy that it’s time to “break out of the faux constructs behind an age-based system of classification”.

With no restrictions on what our interests should be and fewer people buying into “acting your age”, things are going to get interesting!

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