FACE THE NEW ERA GENERATION Z

P.C. That's So Raven. The cast members of the show are posing above for the professional poster featured during Season 2.

That's So Raven, created by Michael Poryes, was a Teen American Sitcom starring Raven-Symone, Orlando Brown, and Kyle Massey. It first aired on the Disney Channel during January, 2003, and continued until early November of 2007. That's So Raven was about an extraordinary teenager named Raven Baxter, who had these unexpected visions that gave her a glimpse of the near future. Together with her friends, Eddie and Chelsea, she faced the dangers and conquered the obstacles in humorous ways resulting to great life lessons. From developing relationships, to having the most hip outfits, to even saying the coolest slang, the show really captured a great insight into a teenager's life. The show was a hit and it was a motivation of generation Z as they grew up post 911.

P.C. That's So Raven. One of the many memes based off of the show.

I personally believe that the show, That's So Raven, best represented my generation, generation Z, because of it's ideology, it's context, and it's characters. That's So Raven symbolized the key issues every high school student potentially undergoes. The series features some very series topics like racial discrimination, along with some light-hearted ones. It represents generation Z because it was a common household show during the time that it aired, however even after that too during 2010. The people from generation Z grew up watching a show, where they encouraged respectfulness, open mindedness, and most of all, promoted diversity. For instance, having a black woman star in such an iconic show wasn't seen very often, especially during the early 2000's. This is where the ideology factor sets in; when Disney decided to alter the norms and change history. Having a black woman play an heroic character, or a role model, was never seen before so when That's So Raven first came out, people ironically accepted it.

The following video is an episode from Season 3 of That's So Raven called True Colors. This episode gives a brief overview of racial discrimination as Raven is declined a job because of race.

Even during the time That's So Raven played, black women were still casted for playing stereotypical roles like being from the ghettos or other roles that were frowned upon by society. For instance in the movie Coach Carter, black females were seen as ratchet, and very disrespectful. In addition, That's So Raven became even more popular because it defeated the persona that society reflected it to be. It encouraged young girls to believe in their dreams, and motivated them to achieve to their very best. Unlike other shows, That's So Raven taught it's viewers to be respectful, and listen to your elders. The dialogue of the show enhanced it's likability because it was easy to follow for all ages, and was not inappropriate. Generation Z grew up learning all the lessons the show presented, and I believe because of these types of shows, society can now accept changes easily. Generation Z will make or break our future, so it's good that shows like That's So Raven were around during the generation's early stage; It prepared us for the future by allowing us to view different perspectives, and positively impacted our mindset from the start.

P.C. Dipti Nair. The image above shows the statistics of Generation Z.

It's clear that Generation Z is the digital generation. However, its also described as the most diverse generation yet. Although we don't have any concrete visions about the future like Raven, society can still predict the direction we are headed towards. As much as I would like to be apart of generation Y, I believe I'm most likely going to fit in generation Z. While researching, I came upon articles explaining the differences between the generations, such the difference in mindsets. Generation Y is more revolved around the peak of the last era, while generation Z is more about adapting and expanding the digital era. Generation Y did not face issues with the economy, the terrorism, and the negativeness of new technology. They were the off springs of the Baby Boomers, therefore population growth was a problem. Whereas generation Z is growing up during the time of a recession, with violence, and terrorism. Generation Y sees sports as an escape, while Z sees it as competition or health benefits. I belong in generation Z because my parents are known as generation Y, or the Echo Boomers.

Generation Y didn't have the technology generation Z grew up with, and so generation Z hasn't developed the same mindset as generation Y. Our attention span is less, we tend to be more irritated, and we lack patience. So having a show like That's So Raven was like our escape because it showed us the good we can do. It taught us how to turn negativity into positive. It gave us a glance at our future; as the show was based around technology, it showed us the consequences of abusing it. For example in an episode, Raven gets a new phone, and start being greedy about. It drives her away from her friends, however she realizes her mistakes. Although Y didn't suffer much from preferred body image, generation Z does. However the show promoted loving your body no matter what, and it made people believe that different is good. The following shows different times the show promoted positiveness.

Nowadays, in modernized countries, men and women have an equal say. During generation Y's time, women were't acknowledged as much as today. That's So Raven, part of generation Z, supported positive roles for women not just in the Hollywood Industry, but even local jobs. The creator of the show really change the way society use to look at women. In addition, he didn't put men "down" to promote women empowerment, instead showed how both can do the tasks equally. Furthermore, if you look back to the Hollywood Industry back in the generation Y, you can see substance abuse was considered good. For example in Grease, the bad boy image that everyone was obsessed with, smoked, drank and was careless. In That's So Raven, Eddie turned to smoking as a way to seem cool, however with Raven's visions, it showed him how bad his future could've been. Overall, the TV series just explained the pros and cons to issues, and showed us the right choice.

In conclusion, That's So Raven is an iconic show that defines generation Z. It promoted equality, fairness, and respectfulness. I believe I'm apart of this generation because of the similar issues we face today. No generation was perfect, but all generations had something great they were defined by. Maybe generation Z's best feature is our mind, and how accepting we are. That's So Raven announced a spin off series, which I believe is a great idea because it'll teach young kids whats right and wrong. Also, we might not get the chance to implement new laws, or revolutionize history in a great way, but the future can. It's our job to raise them, so we should use our skills give them the best future.

Created By
Fatima Sherwani
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