By spending a bit of time on hair and makeup and throwing on a pandemic-era face covering, kids are finding it much easier to buy booze underage—and they're documenting it on TikTok.

By Maressa Brown
July 15, 2020
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Leave it to Gen Z to figure out a way to make the most of the pandemic. Teens are reportedly taking advantage of widespread mask-wearing by dressing up like octogenarians and hitting convenience stores to see if they can procure alcohol. According to The New York Post, teens are documenting their attempts to buy booze on TikTok.

One TikTok video, now set to private, with over 1.5 million views shows a blond girl getting wrinkles drawn on with makeup and then, rocking a sweater, glasses, and a headscarf, according to the Post.

Peter Cade/Ascent Xmedia/Getty Images

A second clip features teens accompanying their grandma-ified friend to grab Smirnoff vodka, while another shows a teen who wore a gray wig, glasses, and a wrinkly Halloween costume mask managing to grab Four Loko for herself and her friends.

Similar examples are popping up all over the platform.

And while some teens are going to the extent of a whole grandma get-up, including makeup, costuming, and a headscarf, others are perfectly pleased with the fact that a mask alone might make it tough for a store employee to scrutinize their appearance.

"PSA: use ur fakes as much as possible bc if you wear a mask they can’t see ur whole face lol," one TikTok user wrote alongside a post in which she flaunts her surgical mask and fake ID.

It's a phenomenon some saw coming from a mile away. Back in April, standup comedian Jason Lawhead had previously joked about masks upping teens' chances of scoring liquor. He wrote on Twitter, "Now that we have to wear masks, this is the best time to buy alcohol with a fake ID since the early 80s."

No surprise Gen Zers are applauding one another for finding a silver lining of this challenging, often dark moment. One Twitter user wrote, "More proof that my generation (Zoomers) are the real greatest generation. ... We improvise, adapt, and overcome."

It bears noting that growing evidence shows how alcohol can interfere with brain development and function, so the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges parents to talk with their teens about the risks and set firm rules against its use.

That aside, parents have to give a few props to the Zoomer kids' creativity. And then have an open and honest conversation about underage drinking.

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