With the rise of mental health accounts on TikTok and the wellness industry’s continuing surge in the market globally, avid social media users are continuously consuming content that tackles the likes of emotional healing, self-esteem, personal growth and manifestation.
Naturally, parodied takes emerged across both TikTok and Instagram platforms, birthing a new meme format to dominate the sphere—affirmations.
WHAT ARE AFFIRMATIONS?
Anyone who’s delved into the self-help realm will know that affirmations are a large part of spirituality and a long-used manifestation technique. The idea is to speak aloud short phrases—think positive daily mantras and inspirational quotes—that spark encouragement and instil self-confidence, in the belief that the phrases can come to fruition by doing so.
AFFIRMATIONS IN POP CULTURE
Instagram account @afffirmations shot to popularity with its archive of Affirmation memes, having garnered over 807,000 followers since its creation at the start of 2021. In an interview with Elle, 21-year-old account owner Mats Andersen shared his sentiments on the format, describing it as a “very effective way of reaching out to people online because it is sort of an imperative command in the first person.”
Perhaps the most notable and shareable feature of affirmations memes is its eye-catching graphics which pair wellness mantras with the trending Y2K aesthetic. Each upload blends the nostalgia of Word Art-style fonts in neons and various bright hues with stock images, topped off with an empowering phrase emblazoned across.
On the aesthetic, Andersen adds, "Some people call it pure capitalist propaganda, some people think it’s criticizing society in a way. These statements [on the memes] are so general and so neutral, yet everybody seems to know exactly what these statements are addressing."
LOCAL PARODY ACCOUNTS
As the new trend takes Instagram by storm, a plethora of niche affirmation accounts have sprung up with their own spin. From brands to schools to Australian cities, the parody accounts proudly display the same profound messages applied on a more local scale.
Lockdown content, places of interest and iconic landmarks become common subjects, proving relatable content is the most successful. And in a time where communities are most in need of humour and human connection, it's no surprise that the trend has become a social media phenomenon.