2021 was the year that as a Melburnian, I was able to get a taste of normality again. Of course, this freedom was short-lived as slow vaccine rollouts, the Delta variant and snap-lockdowns ultimately defined a significant part of my year — and its Google searches.
When I scroll through Instagram and TikTok during pride month and see all the ads from companies, changing their logos to rainbow, I cannot help but cringe. When I was younger and did not know better, I thought companies acknowledging the queer community was a step in the right direction. Surely it was, especially after decades, even centuries, of discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community perpetuated by companies and society alike. Little did I realise the insidious nature of businesses donning the rainbow colours of the pride flag. Now, it makes my blood boil.
As the year 2021 bloomed, a prevailing pandemic saw us once again recoil in our homes, clinging to any frothy distraction.Enter Big Brother, The Bachelor, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under — shows at the epicentre of Australian reality TV to cure us from our daily burnout. Yet even they no longer provide a place of security or refuge. A misguided fantasy. BIPOC evicted. Sashayed away. Given a rose, only to be punctured by a thorn.
You may have heard of the lockdown blues, but thanks to TikTok there’s a new colour tinting our once-achromatic routines. The ‘Follow the Colour’ trend encourages spontaneity in our generally structured lives, asking us to choose a colour and simply follow it. This colour influences our actions and choices for the day, and thus breaks up an otherwise monotonous routine. As someone who has found themselves in a bit of a slump during Lockdown 6.0, I felt that this was a recurring trend for me, so I decided to switch things up. That’s why, on the 27th of August 2021, I let purple run my day.
You went from being an app that I figured was going to be another millennial phase like Musical.ly or Dubsmash — one where in two years time we look back on the videos and ask ourselves: ‘just why?’ Instead, the day eventually arrived when my sister came into my bedroom and popped the big question: ‘do you want to make a TikTok with me?’ That’s when I realised you had finally cracked her.
I remember laying in my bed one Sunday evening, in a cloud of nostalgia and feels after I stumbled across the latest Tiktok trend — the one where people look into the camera and name a certain phrase or habit that they do because somebody in their life, present or past, once did it. Not only was this the most poetic, heart-warming and wholesome content I had ever witnessed on the platform (and I may or may not have shed a few tears), but it really brings you back to the simple things in life.
You definitely did not hear it here first: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (Bennifer) are back together. The ‘it’ couple of the early 2000s have found their way back into each other’s arms and it’s all pop culture fanatics, like myself, can talk about.