'Wholesome' has become a Gen Z compliment, but what does it mean?

'Wholesome' has become a Gen Z compliment, but what does it mean?


Gen Z also prefers wholesome memes to the darkly humorous millennial memes from the early 2010s, which were drenched in irony and coated with dark humor.

Celeste Scott says that when she sees "things unaffected by the bad things happening in the world," it's impossible not to say: "That's just so amazing!"

The wholesome


Examples: Two people playing tic-tac toe with their fingertips on opposite sides of an ominous window. A monkey on the back of a piglet. And

Pedro Pascal


It's a

Gen Z complement

Scott, 26 years old, says that it is used to describe sincerity, kindness, or cuteness. It elicits a certain reaction. She said, "People go, 'Aww'." What is not wholesome about this? "Love is Blind." "My heart rate goes up when I watch it." Scott said, "I'm annoyed with the contestants for being stupid."

Wholesome Memes is followed by 3 million people on Twitter. Wholesome Games has 328,00 followers on Twitter.


Google Trends data shows that the term "wholesome" became popular in 2018, and reached its peak in September 2020.

Enzo Luna is a 22 year old communications consultant who recalls using the word "wholesome" for the first time in 2019. He said, "I think the word caught on because it sounds cool." It's a simple and strong word. Scott, who worked for The Good Trade's lifestyle blog in 2019, called the content of that blog "wholesome" at a meeting. Her co-workers, however, thought that she was referring to their work in a negative manner - as if it were lame or uncool. After learning that the word was meant as a compliment they began using it themselves. One of my co-workers even wrote an article about the word. Scott, the youngest blogger, speculated that "maybe before, the word 'wholesome" was used to describe a more conservative thing.

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Gen Z

According to Michele Lamont a Harvard professor of sociology and author of the forthcoming book "Seeing Others: Recognition Works and Can Heal A Divided World", a compliment does not have any connotations about traditional family values or virtues.

Lamont explained that "they're not necessarily defining 'wholesome' in the Midwesterners' traditional sense, but rather in the sense of having an optimistic outlook on life." I saw a video where a man was talking to a homeless man. They became friends after some time. He said it was "wholesome". It means that everyone who saw it or was a participant in it will have a positive feeling. Wholesome Games is a TikTok account and Twitter account which posts videos of cozy games. Its audience on TikTok consists mainly of Gen Z: 67% are between the ages of 18-24. TikTok doesn't show data on users under 18 for the creator of the page Matthew Taylor. Gen Z also prefers wholesome meme accounts to the satirical memes from the early 2010s, which were drenched in irony and dark humor. Luna stated that "sometimes those ironic or satirical jokes can be too heavy-handed and go into so many details, they're no longer funny." He said that wholesome content was more appealing to him. He enjoys watching cat videos. He said he prefers this type of content to those who make fun of others. Gen Zers are not only interested in wholesome content. They prefer Harry Styles and other wholesome celebrities, as well as wholesome pastimes like playing board games, and a healthy lifestyle that includes "healing the past" and "protecting peace." Wholesomeness, then, is more than a compliment. It's also a value that is passed down from generation to generation. In a study conducted in 2022, Lamont interviewed 80 college students and found that Gen Z values optimism and contributes to social change. Lamont explained that this is the generation of people who grew up under Covid and were the first to be born with a mobile phone. She explained that focusing on the positive was the best way to overcome the difficulties. Luna has just entered the workplace and will begin his role with Harbor Freight Tools for Schools on June 20, 2022. He noted that his colleagues "expect to have the world be tough on them." He preferred to "be the person who tries hard to be a comforting place for everyone, despite all the difficulties the world puts on you." Emily Torres (33), has noticed her Gen Z colleagues tend to have a positive attitude in meetings. Scott, who was once her colleague, is now the editorial director of The Good Trade. She said, "I have some great memories of Scott." "Because of her wholesomeness."