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BarbieCore, Instagram Updates, and Scarlet May on The Viral List


  • BarbieCore represents a new, inclusive image of femininity
  • Instagram users petitioned for new, TikTok-like updates to be undone, and it worked
  • Deaf influencer Scarlet May addressed ableist comments from YouTube’s biggest creator
  • The Commonwealth Games has kicked off in Birmingham, and athletes are using is as a chance to take a stance

Instagram is Becoming More Like TikTok and, Weirdly, Everyone Hates It

Every social media is competing with Gen Z and Millennials’ favorite app, TikTok, of course, but oddly enough, now Instagram is facing major backlash from users for the changes they’ve made to keep up with the competition. Instagram has been integrating video more prominently in their layout since they added Reels in August 2020, but recent updates have pushed a more video-heavy, full-screen feed, just like TikTok.

The updates have clearly not been well received. A simple post from Instagram user @illumitati went viral, alongside the petition they created to “Make Instagram Instagram Again.” The slogan refers to users wanting the original chronological timelines back, and wanting suggested content to stay on their explore page, instead of their main feed. The petition currently has over 240K signatures, but it’s on Instagram that it’s really taken off. The post, which has 2.2M likes, gained so much popularity it was even reposted by Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. The reposts by the famous sisters catapulted the Make Instagram Instagram Again (a.k.a. #MIIA) movement into a media firestorm, spurring many, many headlines, from everyone from CNN to Slate.

One reporter pointed out that Jenner was once responsible for a huge loss for Snapchat when she disliked one of their app updates…and she has apparently done it again, because yesterday Instagram announced it would roll back some of the updates. Only days ago, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri posted his own Reel (over 2M views so far) addressed the complaints, telling users Instagram will continue to be video-forward, despite the critiques. But he also acknowledged that the platform would stay committed to photos and friends’ content.

The creator of the original post and petition, @illumitati, posted that the roll back is “a positive step forward,” but it’s clear some want even more of a separation from TikTok’s features. As one user commented on her update post, “If they brought back 2015 Insta they’d make billions. They lack common sense. Like why?! 🤣”

#Barbiecore is Sweeping Hollywood (After Gen Z and Millennials Created It)

Designers and celebrities have agreed on a (sort of) new trend: Barbiecore. We know that clothes are more than just clothes to Gen Z and Millennials, and young people tell YPulse they use their clothes to express themselves. They’ve actually had an affinity for monochrome, hot pink looks before now, though, and the #pinkaesthetic on TikTok has over 700M views. But #Barbiecore has taken off on TikTok, with over 13M views . Millennial celebrities like Doja Cat (and before her, Nicki Minaj) and Machine Gun Kelly have capitalized entire eras on the color pink, but this #core is part of a bigger cultural moment. Barbiecore represents a re-definition of femininity, one that “expands the notion of femininity to include people beyond blonde, white, heterosexual, cisgender women.” Millennial influencers like Chrissy Chlapecka have created images online embracing hyper-feminine pink aesthetics, and emphasize their queer identity is not separate from their aesthetic.

Queer icons like Lil Nas X and Laverne Cox are embracing this look, and now it’s hitting the runways. This week, Valentino debuted an all-pink FW22 collection, and celebrities like Ann Hathaway, Lizzo, and Kim Kardashian have been seen sporting high-end hot pink. Behind-the-scenes photos of Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie have been going viral all summer, showing Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in head-to-toe, classic Barbie pink. Some trends trickle up, while other trickle down, but it’s fair to say that this trend is a full-scale awakening of a new, feminist emergence that young people will not let go out of style.

Also in fashion: Bacardi launched a clothing collection to promote rising music artists

Deaf Influencer Scarlet May Addressed Ableist Comments From a Huge Creator

Scarlet May is a Deaf influencer known by her 6.2 million followers on TikTok for speaking ASL with added expression from always-manicured long nails. May has been monumental in creating visibility for Deaf creators, racking up millions of views many, many  of her videos. Some of her most popular posts include translating song lyrics into ASL and addressing common misconceptions about the Deaf community.

This week, YouTube’s most subscribed to creator, PewDiePie, reacted to one of her TikToks, pausing after only seconds to criticize her nails and proceed to mock her signing. May then posted a TikTok responding to a comment telling her she was in the thumbnail of his video on Wednesday, and he has since edited that section of the video so his comments cannot be heard, but has not commented on it. 

“If you made a mistake, admit the mistake,” May said in her response. “You don’t just get to mock Deaf people who have already been struggling for years with people like you and go about your day like nothing happened.” Her first TikTok addressing the situation has racked up 2.8M views. She then posted another to clear up a few things, (“I was minding my business, I got put into HIS video”) which has earned another 1M. 

The Commonwealth Has Kicked-Off Within Birmingham, Bringing Sportsmanship and Politics. 

The Commonwealth Games 2022 has brought many flooding to the Midlands as it kicks-off. With the opening ceremony last night, 6,500 athletes have arrived in the U.K. from 72 different countries, and it’s got quite the audience with 1.2 million tickets sold across fifteen different venues. While there’s been a lack of advertisement for the games within the U.K., organizers insist it’s “far from irrelevant,” bringing people from across the globe together, under the mutual language of sportsmanship. YPulse has investigated the importance of sports amongst young people within Western Europe as they battle their North American peers as the biggest sports fans–it’s no wonder they’re eagerly getting into the sporting spirit for the ten days of sporting coverage. And it started with a bang.

As the country made their opening walk proudly bearing their countries flags, Olympic medalist Tom Daley entered the ceremony surrounded by Pride flags as part of a broader campaign against the toxic culture towards LGBTQ+ people held by more than half of the competing nations taking part in the games. This has caused a wave of support online as many young consumers take to social media to show their support–and we know just how much young people like to use social media as an activism tactic. Platforms like the Commonwealth are becoming prime spaces to express viewpoints and create change and Twitter is helping spread the word whole gaining a response while letting young people at home get involved too.

#commonweathgames is trending on Twitter giving live-coverage and conversations on what’s happening, or even re-share what’s tickled them. With coverage online and on the TV, young consumers are tuning in for the latest sporting events, to partake in a moment of a borderless world and create some viral (or heart-warming) moments that’s going to pop up on everyone’s feed this week.

Links We’re Passing

TikTok: “Spa water” is being called out for “whitewashing agua fresca” with a Casey Frey audio

A wholesome trend shows people carrying the love of their pets and kids

“That Girl” is showing how to achieve the productive 5-9 after her 9-5

Nostalgia: Blockbuster rises from the dead on Twitter, and they might be making NFTs?

The Choco Taco has been officially discontinued

Sprite is saying goodbye to the classic green bottle, making it more recyclable

Beauty: The new trend is jell-o skin, and it’s the next anti-wrinkle routine

Gaming: A new PlayStation games main character is a stray cat, and everyone loves playing

Politics: Gen Z for change political strategy specialist Olivia Julianna raised $1 million for abortion funds after a politician body shamed her on twitter

Celebs & Influencers: Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney says she pays her publicist more than her mortgage costs

Lil Huddy’s new song takes a dig at TikTok’s fav Charli D’Amelio

Stranger Things fans defended Natalia Dyer when an NP made a TikTok suggesting injectables