Great article. I’m 34 (too old to be a Millennial, I guess), but faced many of the pressures you describe in my twenties. A large part of our problem is the debt-ridden economics that drive up prices through cheap debt. College is expensive, loans get cheaper, people can afford more expensive college because of the cheaper debt, colleges get more expensive and so on. The same logic applies to housing, too. Raising the minimum wage ultimately will raise prices, as well. These are band-aids in a free market that are killing the prospects of future generations.
It is fitting that you focus on appearance in your article, as the reason we are able to maintain appearances and go to college really is a function of the accessibility of cheap debt (credit cards or student loans).
I think that the real solutions need to come from us. We need to live within our means (yes — that means saving for retirement) and choose education and professions that are in demand.