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In the last week, a TikTok trend that shows old photos of TikTokers who say they were bullies when they were in school has taken off. Set to “SLAUGHTER HOUSE” by Phonka & zecki, the trend includes TikTokers showing themselves currently and then when they were younger with descriptions of their dispositions.
“I may look like a bitch now but…” @chars0far wrote in their video’s overlay text while showing their face. “She was pure evil,” the TikToker wrote over a photo of themselves during their freshman year of high school. @chars0far’s video has almost 11 million views.
Other TikTokers followed suit: @taynfranzen44 and @thatmfffffffff said they were “evil” when they were younger. But it seems that many of the videos that took part in the trend have been deleted or removed, as the TikTok audio is filled with criticisms of the trend itself.
Other opponents of the trend have posted photos of themselves when they were bullied.
“Y’all be like ‘I used to be so mean in high school,’” @itshelenmelon wrote in her video’s overlay text showing her current self. “I remember,” she continues, showing a photo of herself when she was in school.
TikTokers have also pointed out that many of the people partaking in the trend are white, cisgender, thin women: Illustrator @bbgunnz8 bluntly depicted the trend by drawing white women’s faces saying “yeah we used to bully minorities in high school.” The next illustration shows people cringing at what the women said.
Why it matters
TikToker Valerie’s Voice (@valeriesvoice) spoke out about her experiences being bullied in middle school and how the trend is not a “flex.” In her video, she shows a photo of her in a boxing class which she says she took to defend herself from bullies in middle school. Valerie also says she matriculated into high school a year early because her “entire family knew [she] would not survive” eighth grade.
“Nothing about being a bully is anything you should be flexing about ever,” Valerie says in her TikTok.
In an email to the Daily Dot, Valerie explained that she was “incredulous at what seems like a lack of understanding of just how deeply bullying can affect people.” She also said that the idea of bullying has been treated more flippantly on social media.
“I see things like ‘this is why we need to bring back bullying’ all the time in the comments sections of ‘cringey’ videos,” Valerie told the Daily Dot. “I think because of that, bullies feel more empowered than ashamed when it comes to sharing how ‘mean’ they were in the past.”