In the era of social media, with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube taking center stage, Generation Z has taken to a refreshing practice: romanticizing the seemingly mundane aspects of their lives. Despite the challenges the world throws at them, many have found solace in celebrating simple moments.
This trend exploded in 2020, a year plagued with a global pandemic. But how does one romanticize their life? Ashley Ward, the mind behind a viral TikTok video, encapsulated the essence by suggesting that one must intentionally seek beauty in every facet of their surroundings. This newfound appreciation of the ordinary shares deep roots with the ancient practice of mindfulness.
TikTok and its Romantic Revolution
On TikTok alone, videos with the hashtag #romanticizeyourlife, predominantly posted by young women, have amassed over 525 million views. One such content creator, Rachel Hess, captured the attention of more than 6.8 million viewers by simply pressing eucalyptus leaves and hanging them in her shower. The message? Even the most routine of days has its unique charm.
The Message Behind the Movement
The beauty of this trend lies not in promoting an unreachable, aspirational lifestyle. Instead, it’s about grounding oneself and cherishing the present, irrespective of the challenges one faces. It’s not about taking luxurious trips or wearing lavish attire. It’s about soaking in sunsets, enjoying quiet coffee mornings, and reveling in the company of loved ones.
- Highlighting the Simple Moments: Whether it’s taking a 40-minute commute with friends into the scenic city of Boston, or a filmmaker from Utah simply enjoying the morning sun and a fresh croissant, the message remains consistent.
- Mindful Appreciation: It’s about looking up from our devices, absorbing the sunset, going for long walks, or simply laughing heartily.
- Personal Reflection: At places like Boston College (BC), personal reflection is promoted. BC, with its gothic architecture, abundance of trees, and a mission of spreading good, has become an emblem of romanticizing the daily life of its students.
The Digital Scrapbook
Social media, while often criticized for promoting unrealistic lifestyles, can also serve as a modern-day scrapbook, documenting these romanticized moments. Students surrounded by picturesque settings like those at BC find it effortless to maintain enviable online presences that genuinely reflect their experiences.
The Science Behind the Trend
But why has this trend gained so much traction, especially during tumultuous times? Experts believe that romanticizing everyday life is a contemporary spin on mindfulness. By focusing on the present moment and acknowledging thoughts and emotions without judgment, one can introduce a sense of agency and control, elements that have been notably absent during the ongoing pandemic.
- Expert Insights: According to Eric B. Loucks, associate professor at Brown University, the trend amalgamates principles from mindfulness, positive psychology, and the Danish custom of hygiene. He also points out that romanticizing life aligns with mindfulness by helping individuals become more attuned to themselves.
- A Wave of Positivity: As Ashley Ward highlights, while one might not have control over every situation, they do have a say in their perception of it.
- Celebrating Daily Rituals: Jake Cohen, whose avocado toast video reached nearly 400,000 views on TikTok, encapsulates the essence by emphasizing that it’s about discovering meditative moments in daily rituals.
Merging Trends: The “Main Character” Phenomenon
Parallel to the romanticizing trend is the “main character” movement on TikTok, with videos under this banner reaching a staggering 6.9 billion views. This sentiment reflects the notion of being the protagonist in one’s own life, further amplifying the importance of cherishing every moment and seeing the beauty in the ordinary.
In a world that often celebrates the grandiose, the romanticizing trend serves as a poignant reminder of the inherent beauty in the simplest of moments. Whether it’s through mindfulness practices at institutions like BC or shared snippets on social media platforms, the message is clear: life, with all its challenges, holds countless moments worth celebrating. The task is to look closely and appreciate them.