Let’s Embrace Main Character Energy: The Viral Era Trend On Tiktok Explained
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Lauren Sanchez. Find her on Instagram at @lauren.sanchezz. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When people say they’re in their “villain era” or their “pumpkin spice and everything nice” era, what on earth do they mean by that? Well, TikTok may just have the answer to that!
On TikTok, the #Eras trend is going viral among users and influencers, each making videos about one’s different “eras” in the year 2022. The whole trend is all about explaining different kinds of moments in our lives that we consider to be monumental: from life’s biggest moments like getting engaged, moving to a completely new state or graduating college to life’s smallest moments like iced matcha with oat milk obsessions, wearing parachute pants for weeks on end, or using only Glossier products for the entire season.
So what does it exactly mean when we say we are in our blank era? Let’s dive into the trend on TikTok and take a look at a couple of the most common eras I’ve seen floating around, and perhaps you’ll be able to define the specific era you’re currently in.
The Origin Of The “*Blank* Era” Slang
While the concept of someone entering a new era is nothing original and has been around for such a long time, the idea of the “era” circulating through pop culture came about thanks to stan Twitter. The term “flop era” has been used to describe a moment in an artist or a celebrity’s career that is marked by failures or who hasn’t achieved the level of success that they wanted. In another sense, the “flop era” has been used to describe a moment in life that has been full of disappointment and is embarrassingly unable to recover from. However, the transition from using the “flop era” to describe a musician’s career to applying it to everyday normal people’s lives has made the #flopera trend gain over 4.2 billion views on TikTok.
In another pop culture revelation, Taylor Swift and her fans have been using the era term to describe Swift’s distinct and versatile album eras. For example, the “Fearless” album era consists of sequins, country-pop and lyrics that speak of soft love. Whereas Swift’s “Reputation” era is about reclaiming yourself after being dragged through the mud, not giving a damn about what anyone else thinks and relinquishing all hell on your enemies. Swift easily has one of the most diverse discographies out of any mainstream artist and defining her albums as certain eras has shown others a physical representation of what it means to truly transition from one era to the next. I mean, look at the change from the release of Reputation to the release of Folklore and tell me that’s the SAME Taylor from before?
So, What Does It Mean When We Enter A New Era?
Zillennials announce our “new era” in true Zillennial style– by maintaining our “main character” energy. When it comes to a new era, we are really talking about the things that we define as life-changing or the things that we have become hyper-focused on. It’s almost like sectioning parts of our lives like authors do in their books of 30 chapters– or how TV writers drag out a plot for a whole season, only to end it in the first episode of the second season. The eras trend is all about highlighting the short-lived chapters in our lives and entering a new era that we believe generates a new storyline. So without further ado, let’s take a sneak peek at some of the most common eras I’ve seen trending, and perhaps you can pinpoint yourself experiencing one of these.
When people say they are entering their “bookworm” era, it is meant to symbolize an era full of non-stop reading, countless visits to their local bookstore and buying stacks of books that you know deep down you won’t read till months later. And if you’re like me and buy books simply for how aesthetically pleasing a stack of books looks on your shelf– trust me, you have nothing to be ashamed of! While there’s never been a distinct trend in becoming a bookworm, #BookTok has helped a great deal in publicizing books, hyping up unknown authors and inviting others to join in on the reading train.
Concerts/Live Music Fanatic Era
Entering your concert era means that someone has been to a ton of concerts in the past year or so, and practically considers their local music venue to be their home away from home. Concerts and live music are easily one of the greatest things someone could experience in their lifetime. Going to concerts simply for the energy and entertainment is enough to make anyone turn into an extreme concert fanatic. For example, in just a few short months, I’ve been to over seven concerts (and counting) and definitely consider myself to be in my concert era. So if you’ve been going to as many concerts as you can for the rush and the enjoyment of live music, you’re definitely in your concert era.
And speaking of live music, we’ve previously mentioned an era defined by Taylor Swift and Swifties as a “reputation era” and many seem to have resonated with the vibes of being in a reputation era. A reputation era is described as someone entering a no cares given, extreme confidence and vengeance-inducing era. The reputation era usually occurs after a moment of humiliation, a terrible breakup or you’re just sick and tired of people taking advantage of you. It’s a moment of reclamation and recognizing just how powerful you are!
Perhaps you’ve become a world traveler in 2022. From the sandy beaches of Hawaii to the Rocky Mountains to the hustle and bustle lifestyle of New York, you’ve experienced it all. Or maybe this past summer, you entered your “Italian summer in Amalfi” era, drinking nothing but Aperol spritz and riding Vespas across the coastline. Regardless of where you travel, your travel era consists of learning new cultures, trying different cuisines and experiencing all the beauty the world has to offer.
Self-Love and Self-Care Era
This era is pretty self-explanatory, but this era is all about taking care of your body, mind and self. Whether that’s through limiting your social media usage, buying your favorite scented candles, trying new face masks or prioritizing “me” time, it’s an era about rejuvenation and focusing on bettering yourself.
Embrace Your Main Character Energy
So why is everyone obsessed with the trend? Because everyone wants to be the main character in their own story! Besides, the era trend on TikTok is such a unique way to see the way others live their lives and it also helps us see the chapters of where everyone is at in life. Plus, if people are in a similar chapter as you, it’s nice to know that you are not the only one going through it. Using eras to describe the moments in your life helps change your perspective and recognize that you have the ability to rewrite and start the chapters in your life that you want to achieve or fix. So if someone ever asks you the question “How are you doing?”, feel free to spice up your answer by explaining the current era you are in at the moment.
How do you feel about the era TikTok trend? What “era” would you say you’re currently in? Let us know in the comments below!