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The Little Mermaid and Patagonia Making Change On The Viral List


TL;DR

  • Little Black girls are seeing themselves represented in the new Little Mermaid, and their reactions might make you cry
  • Patagonia’s founder just gave away the company for the benefit of the environment
  • TikTok is obsessed with ios16, proving Apple is still cool to Gen Z
  • A British TikToker said what everyone was thinking when he reacted to an ASMR video

Little Black girls reacting to the new Little Mermaid trailer is the sweetest thing on the internet

Earlier this week, Disney released the trailer to the new live action The Little Mermaid, starring singer Halle Bailey, who is Black, as Ariel. It was a thrilling release for plenty of children, but for young Black girls, having an iconic Disney princess look like them has made for some of the most heartwarming reaction videos the internet has seen in years. One video (with 343K likes), tagged #BlackGirlRepresentation, shows a young girl seeing the trailer and turning to the camera with a huge smile, saying “She’s Black! She looks so pretty!” Another, with 1.6M likes, shows how important it is to even the youngest of children to see a princess who looks like them, as a three-year-old girl says with a smile “I think she’s Brown…Brown Ariel is cute!”

More of these videos have gone viral on their own, and ended up in even more viral compilations (this one with nearly 7M likes) or threads on social media, adding to the millions of viewers seeing them. Bailey herself quoted a compilation of the videos on Twitter, saying “people have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and i’m in truly in awe ♥️ this means the world to me 💗😭.” 

But, despite the clearly positive impact this trailer has made, others on the internet consider a Black Ariel a controversy. While many celebrated the representation they so longed for, others attempted to argue the casting was inaccurate to the original, or went so far as to call it “unrealistic.” Dani Di Placido for Forbes called the backlash “transparently racist.” The counter-argument points out the absurdity of asking for “accuracy” in a movie about a mermaid—one tweet reads “The funniest thing about this Little Mermaid conversation is that “scientifically” if mermaids were real they wouldnt look like OG Ariel or Halle. They would be 100x more terrifying.”

Regardless of debate, though, the movie will be received by all the young people awaiting it. And the new Ariel will be as loved as she is in the reactions to the trailer; YPulse’s Representation in Action trend research shows classic Disney princesses are the top roles that Black Gen Z and Millennials’ would like to see recast with a BIPOC star. A tweet from viral influencer Challan put it succinctly: “What’s absolutely hysterical about the little mermaid “controversy” is that it quite literally doesn’t matter if you are upset about Ariel being black, the role was filled, the acting was acted, and Halle will be on screen at a theater near you, thank you.”

Patagonia just set the bar higher than ever for brands tackling climate change

In one of the most shocking moves in business history, the outdoor clothing brand’s billionaire founder, Yvon Chouinard, is giving away his company—by giving back to the environment. The posh yet outdoorsy brand has amassed a cult following of finance bros and New England old money (much to Chouinard’s dismay) since its debut in the ‘70s for good reasons, but young, environment lovers have just as much affinity. The company has appealed to them for choosing not to sell their famous vests with finance firm logos on them anymore, their notorious “Don’t buy this jacket” ad during Black Friday, and suing the Trump administration to protect national parks. 

This year, the first certified B corporation in the U.S. is said to be worth around $1.5B, while Chouinard’s net worth is thought to be $1.2B, according to the BBC. But as the company grew larger, Chouinard grew almost embarrassed and told the New York Times he was “horrified to be seen as a billionaire.” Instead of selling his business, which made him wary no one would care about environmental impact like he does, he wanted to lead the company’s success toward more impactful change. In his official letter, Chouinard states how “Earth is now our only shareholder” and writes that each Patagonia purchase will be going to a cause young consumers vastly care about, and the brand plans to donate about $100 million a year to climate charities. YPulse’s Sustainability research shows that climate change is one of the top social causes Gen Z and Millennials are passionate about and the majority believe corporations should take more responsibility for fighting climate change—and Patagonia’s “purpose owned” model is taking a big step to ensure that they are. 

This news has young consumers posting TikToks donning their Patagonia hats and hoodies proving how they’re “better than everyone else” thanks to their meaningful purchases. Of course, Gen Z has been quick to share memes cracking jokes at “Patagonia’s heirs” with captions like “well Grandpa gave my inheritance to Greenspace,” and in the same post praising Chouinard, dubbing themselves “New members of the Yvon Chouinard fan club🫡🌎.” The hashtag #Patagonia on TikTok has been growing since the news and now has 615.8M total views. This overwhelmingly positive response shows that other brands should take note of this landmark business move, as Gen Z might be forming new eco-expectations.

TikTok is all over ios16 and the new aesthetic possibilities

Young people, especially Gen Z, love aesthetics, so when Apple offered them the opportunity to create highly customized home screens with ios14, they loved it. On TikTok, they shared the color coordinated and themed masterpieces they spent hours on, and tutorials on how to remake all their apps in their preferred #core look. Now, the new ios16 has even more opportunity for customization, and young people on TikTok have already found the best ways to aestheticize it.

The hashtag #ios16 has 2.7B views and counting, and the update has only been available since Monday. A top video, with over 3M likes, shows some of the hottest new features: interchangeable and customizable lock screens, copy and pasting items instantaneously cut from photos, and face id locked albums. After the ios14 trend, the new lock screens have been especially viral (such features have existed on Android phones for years, but that’s not important). Other viral videos show ios 16 “secrets,” like the new ability to see old wifi passwords and merge photo duplicates. And, can’t forget: you can now edit and unsend text messages

Just before the ios16 buzz began, after the new iPhone 14 was announced, a writer for the Atlantic said last week that after years of producing just slightly better versions than the last, iPhones aren’t cool anymore. But that’s clearly not what young consumers are saying; YPulse’s Brand Loyalty report shows that Apple is the brand most Gen Z and Millennials consider themselves loyal to, just behind Nike. And, smartphones are the industry they’re most likely to be loyal to in general, meaning iPhone users have no intention of switching away, especially not when the brand keeps giving them features they love. On top of that, YPulse’s Brand Tracker data, which measures brand diagnostics weekly, shows Apple is still in Gen Z’s top 10 coolest brands, across all industries.

British TikToker Max Baledge Has Gone Viral Over A Reaction Vid

Watching ASMR, and even others’ reactions to it, on TikTok had become the norm for many young people, and this week a TikTok has gone viral of one creator’s moment-by-moment, detailed reactions. The TikTok shows Max Baledge letting users know how each movement in a domino-effect ASMR video makes him feel; when colorful pieces of paper fan out quickly in a design, he says “tktk.” But, when they fall too repetitively, or slowly for his liking, he aptly notes “I’m feeling quite displeased,” and his anger, disappointment, and impatience grows as it happens again and again. So far, the video has gotten 1.9M likes and over 10M views, and he’s made equally viral sequels

When the video was reposted on Twitter, with the caption “he described every feeling I was having at the exact same point,” it went viral there, too, with many relating to his comments perfectly. The tweet has got 460K likes, even getting the attention of celebrities Chrissy Teigen and Brooklyn 99 star Stephanie Beatriz. Max also made a TikTok responding to the viral tweet.

Max Baledge is one of the leading TikTok stars within the U.K., known for his bad haircuts, nights out and random (but humorous) happenings throughout his day. He’s even made his way onto red carpet events for premieres, and to interview celebs. His rise to fame has not gone unnoticed by brands; Jack Wills have collabed with Baledge to create a line of clothes together. Other brands like Alpro, Uber Eats, and VKdrinks have got their name and sponsorships with the TikTok creator. In fact, YPulse found that young Europeans are more than willing to see their favourite TikTok creators collabing with brands: 82% of young consumers say they’re open to seeing branded content from influencers. 

Links We’re Passing: 

TikTok: This filter is reading users faces and describing them in three adjectivesand kind of roasting them

These two girls started a trend of trying to guess the words in the #IfIWas couples videos

Twitter: A tweet putting down chain restaurants caused major discourse, and people are defending their favorites for price accessibility 

Did the Queen of England seriously have a golden Wii for Wii bowling?

Content moderation is under question after Twitter removed a negative tweet about the Queen

TV: Quinta Brunson (of previous Buzzfeed notoriety) is the first Black woman to win best writing in comedy for her show Abbott Elementary

Music: K-Pop group BLACKPINK’s new album launches after single “Pink Venom” spends two weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard global charts

Rita Ora covered “Running Up That Hill” and people did not hold back their criticism

Celebs: Lil Nas X is taking on the gaming world as the president of League of Legends