News & Politics

An Actual Cool Person Weighs In on the Washington Post’s 2023 In/Out List

Baffled by many of the entries ("ozempic face"?), we called up a teenager.

Image by Seiya Tabuchi via iStock/Getty Images Plus.

This morning, with roughly 36 hours left in 2022, the Washington Post put out its annual list of what’s in and what’s out. Phew, just in time: I would not want to be seen ringing in the new year at a poolside living room (out!) rather than a party barn (in!). 

No, but actually, I really needed this list. My unfortunate reality is that, not being the kind of person to subscribe to Dimes Square substacks, I require the good folks of Jeff Bezostan to keep me abreast of the times. And my life has somewhat unraveled this year, so it seemed that the list might bring order. Like, maybe I’m wearing dirty sweatpants and haven’t left the house in multiple days—but now that I know “goblin mode” is out, it’s feasible that I might summon the courage to repair my ramshackle life. 

So, I scrolled—but the experience was pretty alarming. Of the “in” list’s 56 items, I’d never even heard of 36: “rizz,” “bleisure,” “robot m3gan,” “eternatragedy.” “Bone conduction headphones” sounded so dystopian that I googled, and the result was almost worse than I feared: These headphones “transmit audio along the user’s bones and jaw,” says CNN.

But, okay, all those examples are “in,” and I don’t have TikTok, so it seems fair to lower the bar. For comfort, I turned to the “out” list—comfort that quickly proved cold. I mean, be honest—were you aware of “ozempic face,” “permacrisis,” “boston clogs,” or “barbiecore”? Have you sampled the “chugaccino,” an admixture of coffee and fungus that was “out” before I even heard its name? The items I did know were appallingly pedestrian: “Airpods,” “Iowa,” “orthopedic surgery.” One that I thought I knew—”Ghosts”—wasn’t actually referring to ghosts. So, thank you, Washington Post, for forcing me to ask a painful question: At 31 years and six weeks old, am I even more out than out?

Seeking a reality check, I called the coolest person I know: my 16-year-old sister. She FaceTimed from her bedroom in suburban Canada, a Joy Division poster hanging in the corner of the frame. “I just found out I have fungal acne,” she said. “I’ve been treating my skin all wrong.” Asked what one does about such a problem, she replied, “Literally put shampoo on my face.”

I know, I’m with you—that doesn’t sound right. But listen, this girl had heard of most of the items on this Washington Post list, so I guess she’s in the know. Below is a sampling of reactions from an actual “in” person, my sister—Hazel McNamara, who asked that her name be mentioned here “for the recognition”—to this year’s trends.

Out: San Francisco Democrats. In: Brooklyn Democrats

“I have no opinion on the Democrats.”

Out: Spherical furniture. In: Glass blocks

“That’s valid. Spherical furniture was trending for a long time and it’s cool, but glass blocks are more satisfying. Spheres are for the wild and untamed, but if you’re trying to get into a healthy and smooth lifestyle, I’m thinking glass blocks.”

Out: Iowa. In: South Carolina 

“Iowa was never in.”

Out: Poolside Living Rooms. In: Party Barns

“Party barns, they’re in. That’s correct. Everyone loves a party barn. And it’s nicer—pools are so 2016. You want a rustic fun party in a barn. It’s better. It gives a little bit of Silence of the Lambs.”

Out: Twitter. In: Still Twitter, somehow

“Twitter is not in. I mean, maybe it is. But no, I can tell you right now, Twitter is not in.”

Out: Barbiecore. In: Sad Beige Toys for Sad Beige Children

“Sad beige toys gives them a taste of what real life is. No one can be Barbie. Barbie is not real.” 

Out: Ozempic face. In: Buccal fat pad removal

“I don’t know what ozempic face is, but buccal fat pad removal is a terrible idea. First of all, it’s literally going to ruin your face—you need that skin to look youthful. And then in two years the fat is going to be in again and you’re not going to have it. So you’re just preying on your own downfall.” 

Out: Captain Sandy. In: Captain Jason

“Captain Sandy, Captain Jason. I don’t know these captains.”

Out: FaceTime. In: Voice memos

“Voice memos. You can think about what you’re saying and you don’t have to show your face. Yeah, voice memos are in. Maybe you should have voice-memoed me, honestly.” 

Out: Blaming millennials. In: Blaming Gen X

“To be fair, blaming millennials is better. Sorry.” 

Out: AI selfies. In: AI fashion models

“Oh my God, get rid of it all. AI is terrifying, it’s horrifying, it’s literally ruining everything.” 

Out: Goblin mode. In: Chaos cooking

“I guess chaos cooking is more productive.”