Wednesday, September 27, 2023

From Hot Girl Summer to Bama Rush, how the internet creates seasons

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

A few weeks ago I saw a video of a pair of matching women in a meticulously organized formation who sang Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” except instead of the lyrics to “All Star,” they sang about the Tri Delta sorority at Baylor University. I’m not a Baylor University student nor have I ever had the patience or the hair extensions for Greek life in a Southern university, but I knew this video was for me because it’s the special time of year when seemingly every TikTok user is pushed into the world of sorority recruitment whether they asked for it or not.

In the year since Bama Rush took over the internet last August, it has become apparent that TikTok operates on a fixed calendar, except that it is slightly different from the regular calendar. For example, there’s no “April,” but there’s a period of about eight weeks where TikTok decides to serve you videos of beautiful people frolicking in rural settings and then you start looking up cottage prices on Zillow. Instead of “September,” “October,” or “November,” we have a time slot that can be divided between “Happy Fall” and “Sad Fall,” which are aesthetically similar but have very different emotional tenors.

Anyway, the Gregorian calendar is in its flop era. Here is the new framework with which we are going to organize the concept of time.

New year rebranding

If you’re scrolling through your TikTok feed at this time of year, you might be wondering, “Hm, why does everyone have the same exact New Year’s resolutions, and why do they all believe they can work their way through Amazon? to a new personality?” That’s because the The concept of the “New Year Rebrand” almost always idealizes a hyper-prestige, beautiful, skinny person who spends all her waking hours on self-improvement. Fast-forward to a few months later, and she’ll inevitably realize that most of what Americans think of as “self-improvement” is silly and mostly useless, leading her to…

winter madness

Depending on where you live, the period from late winter to early spring is unforgiving: it’s too cold to be out for longer than necessary, and the exterior isn’t very pretty to look at from the relative warmth of your home either. House. Which means there are even more miserable people out there spending even more time online. Beware: This is the internet at its most vulnerable, and oftentimes we get our most circular, meaningless treatises, like whether like it lolita you suspect that bimbos can be feminist. But eventually the sun will rise again and welcome us to…

What if I lived in the countryside?

The flower buds are blooming, the birds are chirping, and you wear a square puff sleeve dress and fantasize about owning a cottage in the state, maybe with some baby goats. Even if you never achieve this kind of feat, you can live vicariously with the people filming themselves doing it and then posting it online (which negates the whole aesthetic, but let’s not focus on that now). But after watching too many of these types of videos, you wonder if those people post so much because they are alone all the time and lead lives that end up looking pretty lonely, which leads us to…

[X] Girl Summer

Staying home is out, and going out is in, baby! It’s Pride month, it’s time for short shorts and halter tops, and just like the beginning of every year, every summer you get to be someone different. Obviously, Megan Thee Stallion deserves credit for coining the term “Hot Girl Summer,” but since its debut in 2019, others have repeated it with fill-in versions like “wild girl summer,” “thigh man summer,” or really any kind of summer. whatever you want. TikTok’s favorite summer aesthetic this year was “kiss grandma,” a mix between Diane Keaton in Something has to give and Ina Garten every day of her life. But before the leaves start to change, there is one more late summer tradition that we must cross together…

Bama Rush

Since it exploded on TikTok last year, the incoming pledges from the University of Alabama’s sorority system are back on everyone’s For You pages. We can now shake off the cobwebs of all the useless knowledge that we have buried deep in the attics of our brains, such as the fashion institution known as ‘the Pants Store’, Kendra Scott jewelry and acronyms such as PNM (Potential New Member) and ZLAM (Zeta Love and Mine). Phenomena like Bama Rush happen all the time on TikTok — niche, novel, and drama-filled events that go super viral and get forgotten in a matter of weeks — but Bama Rush is one of the few that happens like clockwork at the exact same time each year. . In the end, though, it’s just a quick stop, a nice diversion on the way to…

Happy autumn

The internet has come up with numerous terms to describe the special joy of the first signs of autumn – Christian Girl Autumn, Meg Ryan Fall, PSL Season – but for the most part they fall under the same category, namely: Fall is fun, fall is cute, fall is when we wear plaid shirts and drink delicious orange sludge at Starbucks and embrace our own basicity. Because honestly, who cares if it’s cheesy to pick apples when the air smells like that crunchy? However, at some point you realize that the good smell actually comes from dying flora, resulting in…

sad autumn

The shift from Happy Fall to Sad Fall occurs around the same time that it starts to get pitch dark at 4pm and you remember that the sun will be on hiatus for the next six months. In Vermont, we have a term for when the leaves are gone, but there’s no snow yet – stick season – a term that actually went recently viral on TikTok when Vermont recording artist Noah Kahan released a song of the same name. But there are more aesthetically pleasing ways to experience Sad Fall; consider “cabincore,” which is fall’s answer to spring’s cottagecore, or “spooky szn,” where you can pretend “entering your rogue era” (even if that means just donning a black corset and a cat’s eye). Get ready to get back into the holiday spirit in a few weeks, because soon it will be time for…

Home for the holidays

The holidays offer the rare gift of seeing people on the internet spending time with their families, whether it’s teaching their grandparents a crazy TikTok dance or getting more and more drunk while asking the “So how’s your dating life going?” ?” questions from curious relatives. It’s also, crucially, when you can finally get confirmation that that one child you felt was super-rich is indeed super-rich, based only on the cornice in his parents’ historic home. When overwhelmed by the parties and the people, TikTok offers a precious escape from the less fun parts of the season, which will soon give way to…

The week between Christmas and New Year when time absolutely stands still

There’s literally nothing going on in the world, so of course it’s time to rethink everything that’s happened on the internet this year and make our predictions about what’s going to happen next year. TikTok trends may be literally meaningless and trendwatching is dead, but that has never stopped us from trying to squeeze even more content out of these already numb, soulless viral phenomena. Happy new year!

Finally: Throw away your calendar and replace it with this one. Next year it will be the only one that matters.

This column was first published in the Goods Newsletter. Register here so you don’t miss the next one, plus exclusive newsletters.

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