The minds of Gen Z were fuming with disappointment last week after photos of Jenna Ortega smoking a cigarette (so retro!) went viral. What seemed more surprising was the fact that Ortega is too cool for the Gen Z staple Elf Bar, the colorful e-cig that has made a name for itself on TikTok.
But fans were, understandably, a little taken aback. While cigarettes might not be the same type of status symbol that everyone thought they were in the ’60s (or when Mad Men was on), their side effects and long-term health complications are much more well-known at this point. Even though Ortega is a 20-year-old adult, some of her many fans were disappointed, and even her mom got involved.
Natalie Ortega took to Instagram to share a series of somewhat outdated but still relevant memes about the harms and horrors of smoking. One included comparing a cigarette smoker to Gollum, while another had various facts about lung cancer and other complications stemming from nicotine.
Bro Jenna Ortegas mom took her daughter smoking SERIOUS (I now respect her mom more than Jenna Ortega) pic.twitter.com/0Do0zctuBh
— Erik (@erikolooo) May 31, 2023
On the other hand, some fans were quick to reply that nicotine addiction is a real thing that can affect anyone, even young actresses going through a major life change. Either way, Ortega was clearly caught in a private moment while talking with a friend.
In the end, Natalie Ortega finished off her photoset with a quote about motherhood: “A mother is always a mother. She never stops worrying about her children, even when they are all grown up and have children of their own.” This is, of course, a conversation that should probably be held in the privacy of their own home, but sometimes Instagram is the only way you can get in touch with those you love in order to make it everyone else’s business. This should be what family group chats are for, though.