And I Oop-ing Our Way into History Textbooks

Varsha Bhargava ’23

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VSCO Girls with their scrunchies and oversized t-shirts, E-girls and E-boys with their dark ensembles, soft girls with their rosy cheeks and pink dresses. These personas are taking over the internet and our schools; will this generation let them take over the text books too? Is it too late to prevent that?

 

Is this really what Gen Zers would like to be known and remembered for?

 

Memes, mind-numbing apps, and irregular clothing choices?

 

TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, is an app that has been taking over the internet. With TikTok, people (particularly teenagers as the target age group) record themselves dancing, li-syncing, or acting out comedic skits to clips of music. This app has spawned multitudes of new trends as teenagers everywhere are incorporating new personalities, wardrobes, and speech patterns into their daily lives. 

 

The rising TikTok aesthetic has been dominating high schools and even middle schools, crowding hallways with people in short-shorts, large tees, or sweaters, clothing choices emanating either the “laid-back vibe”, the “not-trying-too-hard-vibe”, or the “extra” look, going all out with makeup, hairstyles, and identifying accessories.

 

This is just one of the many possible samples from a textbook that our grandchildren may read in the coming future: 

 

Daily Attire in 2019:

Gen Zers would often opt to dress up in reflection of their favorite *TikTok personas. 

Some decided to dress up as VSCO Girls (refer to section 4.3) by wearing: oversized T-shirts, short athletic shorts, and accessorizing with multiple scrunchies, puka shell necklaces, Birkenstocks/Crocs, and Fjallraven’s Kanken brand square backpacks. These girls can be found sporting large Hydroflasks (a brand of reusable water bottles) with metal straws in order to preserve plastic and to “save the turtles.”

 

Other wardrobes of TikTok personas include:

E-boys/E-girls (refer to section 4.4): dark/black outfits, “skater clothing”, dramatic makeup (sometimes even with hearts stenciled in on their faces).  

Soft Girls (refer to section 4.5): outfitted in dresses of various pastel colors (pinks, yellows, etc.), dramatic use of blush on the face and soft makeup.

*TikTok, an app long since gone out of use by today’s adolescents

 

Some teenage TikTokers that have gained a lot of hype include Charli D’amelio (15 years old), Jacob Sartorius (17 years old), Lilhuddy (17 years old), and Loren Gray (17 years old). These Gen Zers have gained major and unprecedented internet fame; the seventeen-year old, Loren Gray, has claimed the title of having the most-followed account on TikTok, totaling in about 38 million followers [1]. In comparison, Jacob Sartorius has around 21 million, and both Charli D’amelio and Lilhuddy have over 10 million followers on TikTok. 

 

Some people may not have given too much thought regarding this particular topic, but basically everything that has been happening in the world right now will be documented for future generations. Even the seemingly arbitrary trends, such as TikTok clips, Snapchat streaks, Insta DMs, and new iPhone models will be etched into history for all generations. After all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the impact that both this trend and teenagers have on daily life and the entire world. 

 

Although some people may think of the whole TikTok trend as a joke or a meme, there is no denying that this era will go down in history for generations ahead of us to observe. Even though the textbooks of our future will be filled with our accomplishments and the victories of our generation, they will also be filled with frivolous trends like these. They will weigh Tiktok trends with the same importance as reforms for climate change taken during recent years. Someday, the RTNs of high-schoolers and middles-choolers will be filled with pages about our social media apps and clothing choices. Do we want to fill their pages with shallow forms of entertainment, or do we want future generations to write about the positive impact we had on society and the meaningful actions we ran through in our daily lives?

 

Just writing this article is securing these trends a place in our history.

 

[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/tiktok-most-popular-stars-gen-z-influencers-social-media-app-2019-6