In my day, we called it “depression”. If you spent all day in bed, refusing to face the real world, then you were either 1) lazy, 2) hungover or 3) depressed.
I’ve aged myself there, haven’t I? In 2023, spending an entire day lying down may be a sign that you are having a “menty-b” (gen Z slang for a mental breakdown) or that you’re “bed-rotting”. Bed-rotting, while an evocative term, is difficult to define. Depending on which articles you consult from the million that have recently been published on the phenomenon, it either means you’re practising self-care and opting out of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy norms, or it means you’re a slob.
I’m not trying to be dismissive. Honestly, I think the person who coined the term bed-rotting is a genius. Some people dream of brokering world peace. Others of colonising Mars. I dream of one thing only: inventing a dubious trend with a catchy name that could become the Oxford word of the year. I haven’t achieved that lofty goal yet, but I have amassed copious notes about how to tread this path to glory and, generously, I am going to share them with you. Behold: a brief guide to constructing a dubious micro-trend in 2023.
First things first: reinvent the wheel. Find something completely banal that has been around for ages but has the potential to be rebranded into a zeitgeisty phenomenon that launches a thousand think pieces. A ploughman’s lunch, for example, is now a “girl dinner”.
Once you have your subject, you can switch your attention to names. If you lack inspiration, just insert the words “girl” or “core” into it. Rat girl summer, girl math, lazy girl jobs … the hottest micro-trends of 2023 contain the word “girl”. “Core” is a bit more passé, but it still works. See, for example, cottagecore, normcore and goblincore.
If you can’t find an excuse to “core” or “girl” your way into a trend, alliteration always adds interest. One of the biggest trends of recent years has been “quiet quitting”. I’m not sure it would have commandeered quite as many column inches if it had been dubbed “subtle resigning”. And once you’ve done all that, get back in bed and let TikTok get to work.
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