“Living Alone” Vlogs
Nothing quite compares to the soothing brain scratch that “living alone” vloggers provide their audiences. Whether it’s Jihyunkkung showing you her packed lunches throughout the week or Michelle Choi watching TV in her gigantic New York City apartment, living alone is the new #squadgoals — the luxury of loving your own life and romanticizing the reality of solitude by making everything peaceful and pretty. Just like having a tight-knit, star-studded group of girlies was the pinnacle of an aspirational lifestyle in 2015, “living alone” vlogs have given me inspiration to love a quiet little life.
One of my favorite creators on TikTok, by far, is Nick Rosenthal, known as @clownfacebinch, who can never seem to catch a break with the men he is meeting in New York City. Whether it’s the story of him going down on someone and having a mouthful of their genitals while they watched Emily in Paris, or being tied up like a rotisserie chicken, I have deeply enjoyed Rosenthal’s wild dating stories and am rooting for him to find true love in the new year.
That One Week on Twitter
First, a man went viral on Reddit for a specific song he played while having sex, which spread onto Twitter and TikTok as people shared the zany story behind it. Don’t Worry Darling had its premiere at Venice Film Festival, and everyone followed the drama between the cast and debated each movement on Twitter. Then Lea Michele debuted in her leading role on Broadway’s Funny Girl revival after months of bubbling tension. On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II died, prompting a hilarious massive global response from people who lived or descended from countries that had been oppressed by the British Empire. By Friday, people were chattering about the conspiracy theory that BTS’s Jungkook was the reincarnation of Princess Diana. We don’t get many weeks where current events are just perfect for social media discourse, but in September of this year, we had seven days of Good Twitter.
The Yassification of Andrew Tate
Andrew Tate, a kickboxer turned men’s rights activist, became the center of a highly misogynistic dialogue on the internet this year. But seeing the edits of him with booty shorts, acrylic nails, and false lashes brought me such an incredible amount of joy. It was the perfect online response to a creator who has called women “property.”
Convenience Store TikToks
From ice cups and bagged drinks to a variety of ramen you can make in store, TikTokers like @tokyogirl__ and @annainseoul were some of my favorite creators to watch this year. The content is the perfect slice of life that makes you want to go somewhere else and try something new; Alisa, known as @tokyogirl__, shows you around the city and wider metropolitan area of Tokyo, and Anna (@annainseoul) resides in Seoul. These videos aren’t created through a white or Western lens, either, which is something I greatly appreciate about these influencers, while keeping their videos super transparent in terms of cost and quality.
Meghan & Harry Discourse
It’s not that the documentary’s release was one of my favorite moments of the year, but rather the social media discourse around it. The commentary was a perfect time to revisit the moments that I felt were left out of the documentary — like this clip of King Charles breakdancing, or the clip from that meme of Harry running for an ice cream, or again King Charles DJ’ing and saying “dig that crazy rhythm” — and discuss how much a royal celebrity story matters to us anymore.
Leaning, puffy, shaped like something else — the futuristic, creepy-cute cakes of Instagram have all but dominated my Explore page. Will I ever eat one? Probably not! But there is something so wonderful about opening up your social media and seeing a bunch of silly and strange cakes with flowers, swirls, and avant-garde decorations adorning a mound of sugar. It does feel like an instant shot of serotonin to the brain.
Emma Chamberlain’s House Tour
There may have been a vibe shift the day Architectural Digest released the tour of influencer Emma Chamberlain’s home. With 7.7 million views on YouTube, the tour of Chamberlain’s sprawling midcentury-modern home became an instant viral sensation. Videos tagged with “emma chamberlain chandelier” have been viewed 2.9 billion times on TikTok, and had their grip firmly on my windpipe. The video encapsulated an eclectic aspirational style that resonated with many and is one of my favorite viral lifestyle moments of the year.
“You want me to serve…cunt? Tonight?” TikTok influencer Eric Sedeño (@ricotaquito) asks us on the audio that now has 12,900 videos under it. Sedeño has developed a loyal following for his comedy videos, often involving different trending memes and vernacular, as well as a rapport with fans that only makes everything on his page funnier.
Emily Mariko’s newsletter
Say what you want about Emily Mariko, but I stand by the quiet queen of at-home cooking. You can hate on her undercooked pumpkin pie. You can shriek in horror as she drops whole lemons into her pasta. That’s mine, and I’m going to stick beside her. This year I have greatly enjoyed reading her simple link-through newsletter, which inspired my own meals every week, encouraged me to get better kitchenware, and organize my fridge in a way that brings me joy every time I open it.