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Cults Are Slowly Taking Over TikTok, on The Viral List

Cults are now a thing on TikTok, millions have watched Billie Eilish’s manifesto on body image, nostalgic cast digital reunions are a big trend in quarantine—plus more stories and youth news you shouldn’t miss this week…


“Cults” Are Taking Over TikTok 

Young people are continuing to flock to TikTok to find ways to keep themselves occupied—and “cults” seem to be the latest trend on the app. But they’re actually “less sinister” than they sound. The current “cults” are really just super-fandoms, with no traditional cult ideologies. Instead, they organize to show devotion to a single TikTok creator (or “cult leader”). This week, avatars with a “cryptic blue selfie” were seen all over the platform—a sign that users are a part of Stepchickens, the most prominent cult. The group was formed by Melissa Ong (@chunkysdead), who has more than 1.9 million followers. Ong’s followers refer to her as the “Mother Hen” and show their loyalty by changing their profile photos to an image she selected (in this case, the blue-tinted photo of herself) and wage comment battles on other influencers. The video where she reveals their new cult name and default image has received 1.7 million views. Ong even poked fun at her newfound fame in a video that garnered more than 1.9 million views. Rival cults like The Jeffs, The Weenies, Babbages, The Flamingos, Duck Sanctuary, the #YeeHawSquad, The Griswolds, and many more have started to emerge, resulting in a cult “war.” 


Billie Eilish’s Body Image Video Has Millions Watching

On Tuesday, Billie Eilish (Gen Z beloved artist) dropped her video manifesto on body judgement and shaming on YouTube—and as of today, “Not My Responsibility” has garnered more than 11 million views. In the nearly four-minute video, Eilish is seen removing her hoodie and submerging herself in water as her voiceover speaks about the negative media conversations about her body and double standards of the industry. The video was originally shown on her tour in March, and only clips shared by fans could be seen on social media until now. This is hardly the first time that Eilish has spoken about body image—she has attributed her signature baggy style to the desire to hide her body from judgement. The Grammy-winning musician has been a favorite among Gen Z for representing their generation, with one fan telling us “She’s very fine with not fitting into any boxes or labels, especially ones that are generally given to younger female stars.” 


Throwback Cast Reunions Are A Big Quarantine Trend 

Celebrities continue to think up new ways to keep fans entertained in quarantines, and nostalgic cast reunions are the latest trend. Even though the anticipated Friends reunion has been postponed until a live audience is allowed to attend, other beloved casts of popular films and TV shows have been coming together virtually—and often going viral for it. John Krasinski rallied The Office cast together on “Some Good News” to surprise a superfan couple on their wedding day, the Parks and Recreation cast released a special reunion episode for COVID-related charity efforts, and the Community cast also came together for a virtual table read. This week, a slightly more obscure cast reunion delighted fans when Hilary Duff, Alyson Stoner, and the rest of the stars from the 2003 film Cheaper by the Dozen reunited on TikTok for the “I’m Just a Kid” challenge (which has 3 million videos) to raise money for No Kid Hungry. The video has garnered 17 million views on Stoner’s account, and they’ve even teased the possibility of a third film. This isn’t the first time Hilary Duff joined a reunion during lockdown. Last month, she brought together the cast of Lizzie McGuire to do a virtual table read of the show’s iconic “Between a Rock and a Bra Place” episode. There’s now even an entire show devoted to quarantine cast reunions: Josh Gad’s new YouTube series Reunited Apart will virtually bring together stars from popular franchises, and their teaser for a Lord of the Rings episode has already received more than 1 million views. During COVID, many Gen Z and Millennials have turned not only to uplifting content, but have reverted to their fandoms and familiar content to give them a dose of comforting nostalgia during difficult times. 

Links We’re Passing: 

TikTok users are making themselves the #maincharacter in their own story. 

After months of anticipation, Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album is finally here and her “little monsters” are freaking out. 

Taylor Swift’s fans have some bad blood with Burger King after the chain posted a sarcastic tweet about her songs.

Dove’s new #MyHairMyWay campaign showcases quarantine hairstyles (and fails) with user-generated content of home experiments. 

Funko Pop is releasing figurines of this popular internet meme

Last summer, Popeye’s went viral for their chicken sandwichnow KFC is trying to launch their own.

This new Twitter meme is (jokingly) asking men what’s preventing them from “looking like this.” 

Sailor Moon-inspired tears are the latest makeup trend to hit Instagram. 

K-pop fans are supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement by refusing to promote their favorite artists on Twitter.