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TikTok is Done with Therapy Apps on The Viral List

We round up the most viral moments of the week… 


  • Tiktok is exposing the bad experiences they’ve had with influencer-backed therapy apps
  • ASL interpreter Justina Miles is going viral for her iconic addition to Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show
  • The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey is the non-binary representation so much of Gen Z wants to see, but doesn’t always have their identity respected
  • A Banksy mural in England has locals engaged in keeping it looking as intended

This week on TikTok: Therapy apps are under fire  

Over the last few years, mental health apps—specifically talk therapy apps—were on the rise, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Having easy access to professionals was super appealing to Gen Z and Millennials who are more comfortable using online platforms than visiting a therapist or psychiatrist in person (especially since many of them market themselves as cheaper alternative to traditional services). YPulse data even shows 19% of young consumers are interested in text therapy apps, where getting help is as easy as texting a friend. But recently, previously trendy therapy apps like BetterHelp, TalkSpace, and 7 Cups are receiving some heavy backlash on TikTok.  

Users are coming forward with their horror stories using these apps—and many involve cases of receiving inadequate or even harmful “care.” BetterHelp is arguably taking the most heat with users pointing out their inescapable ads and questionable influencer partnerships. For example, the brand worked with Travis Scott following his AstroWorld disaster by offering victims only a month of free therapy. One user, @mojojojokes even posted a video asking: “How long till there’s a true crime documentary about BetterHelp?” Others are sharing how they were assigned therapists who were unqualified for the role, who showed up late, and who gave hurtful advice, making patients question their decisions and anxieties. So while YPulse data shows young consumers want brands to teach them about mental health, it’s important that it’s done responsibly.  

ASL Interpreter Justina Miles brought all the energy to the Superbowl halftime show 

Though Gen Z and Millennials loved Rihanna’s halftime show performance (in all its baby-announcement, Fenty easter egg glory), they’re now obsessing over the American Sign Language interpretation of it on TikTok. The show was translated live by 20-year-old, Deaf interpreter Justina Miles, who brought a fierce energy to her signing that perfectly matched the vibe of the music. On TikTok, several clips of the performance have gone viral, with one from the official NFL account gaining 18.2M views and 3.9M likes. The comments proved just how much the audience loved her: one reading “she KILLED IT” has 86K likes of its own (and a response from NFL reading “period”), with another reading “it was so nice of her to let you have a game during her concert.”  

This is, of course, not Miles’ first gig; she has also interpreted at various concerts and festivals and has a large following on TikTok already. But Miles does represent a landmark in being the first Deaf woman to interpret at the Super Bowl, signing for both the halftime show and the pre-show rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the Black national anthem. Miles’ viral moment shows how energizing good representation can be—making a role like a necessary interpreter also a valuable addition to a show, and a celebrated performer in her own right.  

Also at the Super Bowl: Rehearsal footage of Rihanna’s troupe of backup dancers are also going viral 

Non-binary actor Bella Ramsey of The Last of Us wants to stop being called a woman 

HBO Max’s new series The Last of Us, based on the wildly popular video game of the same name, has been a smash hit—and in no small part thanks to the acting of the lead characters. But 19-year-old actor Bella Ramsey who plays Ellie has received online backlash for her portrayal, first for not looking identical enough to the game character, and then again for identifying as non-binary. In an interview with GQ, Ramsey opted for using she/her pronouns, though noting she doesn’t mind which are used.  

From the beginning, Ellie has been a queer character—a storyline that faced backlash for the video game, too—and Ramsey tells GQ she “wore a chest binder for ‘90 per cent’ of shooting The Last of Us,” to better focus. In other roles, though, Ramsey has portrayed strong femininity, dressing in dresses and even corsets. And though Ramsey says she feels “powerful” playing feminine characters, like her roles in Catherine Called Birdy and Young Elizabeth, she is tired of being called a “young lady” or even a “powerful young woman,” simply because she does not identify as a woman. She says gendering her in this way bothers her more than different pronoun usage.  

Despite backlash or misgendering, Ramsey has found huge success in the role, and shares over and over in interviews how connected she feels to Ellie, and her excitement to move into season two. Many fans share her excitement, especially because they see someone representing their identity on screen—something many Gen Z and Millennials feel is lacking in TV. YPulse has told you before that Gen Z are more likely than Millennials to identify as LGBTQ+ because they’re more open to more fluid ideas about gender and sexuality than previous generations, in part because of their exposure to more ideas on social media. And our most recent data shows about 3.5% of Gen Z identify as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming, which may not sound like a lot, but equates to millions of young people.  

In Western Europe: Banksy art has popped up, but a part of it has been removed 

A domestic violence piece has been created by Banksy in Margate, England but part of the piece is an abandoned freezer—which has been taken away following safety concerns, twice. Thursday morning residents went to visit the artwork, finding the freezer gone again after Thanet district council return it following backlash. The piece is called Valentine’s Day mascara, picturing a 1950s housewife with a missing tooth, and swollen eye, pushing her husband into a freezer. It’s been given a value of £2 million, but only with the freezer included—leaving many to believe the freezer has been taken away for safe-keeping in storage.  

Alongside talks about what to do to preserve the painting, and keep away from vandalism without 24/7 security, local residents have eagerly gone to visit and taken to social media to show it. Over on TikTok, creative director Nova Dando has been keeping track of the comings and goings of the artwork. The publicity has been getting locals involved in the piece of art, using items from bins to cars to another freezer to help maintain the true artwork of how Banksy wanted it to be viewed.  

Links We’re Passing: 

Celebs: Paul Mescal indirectly confirms breakup with Phoebe Bridgers with a rendition of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” 

Rihanna’s Super Bowl show—including the baby announcement—broke the internet  

Oh, and baby Fenty number one is making his debut on the cover of British Vogue  

TikTok: Workout influencers are sharing routines for “shy girls” at the gym  

Has everyone been through the dreaded “Ben phase” of dating?  

Toxic men on TikTok are exposing themselves by complaining about girls doing “birthday makeup”  

AI takeover: The trial-run Bing AI reportedly has an attitude some are calling “unhinged” 

The AI ordering system for McDonald’s is hilariously flawed  

In Western Europe: Spain has become the first European country to pass a bill for menstrual leave 

Attendees honored Vivienne Westwood by dressing high fashion for her funeral