Not Me Doing a Middle Part Because the Youths on TikTok Told Me To

Kelsey Castañon

Up until last week, parting my hair to the right just felt like the natural order of things, like throwing an empty tin can into the recycling bin or washing everything but your bra on laundry day. Then I learned about the debate dividing TikTok and Instagram, in which gen Zers were claiming that if you do it any other way but right down the middle, you are, in fact, old as Moses parting the Red Sea. When we polled POPSUGAR editors on their stances, it was confirmed: the side part is indeed a Very Millennial Thing to Do.

Anyway, flash forward to today and my current hair regimen feels more like the meme of a little girl crying into the mirror with the words, "Putting my hair in a middle part after a shower so gen Z doesn't call me ugly" at the top. Despite my proud accomplishment of not having caved to any TikTok trend yet, I weirdly wanted to try this elusive style I thought only looked good on people like Kim Kardashian but somehow captured the hearts of youths everywhere. It would become my mission to at least attempt.

Although, let me be clear: this was no easy feat, at least not for someone with a widow's peak that by nature splices my hair slightly to one side, let alone 16+ years of blow-drying my roots into submission in one direction. When I first uploaded a video of my efforts to try the middle part to my Instagram Story, you could tell something looked . . . off. "But look at that volume," my sister responded. "On one side and one side only."