Every once in a blue moon, a wholesome viral trend graces the TikTok For You Page of millions. In recent months we’ve seen Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” become the soundtrack to personal growth, and saw TikTokers get sentimental about the concept of a multiverse. A new bittersweet trend is circulating around the app, reminding the self deprecating users to nurse their inner child.
Thousands of users are jumping in on the trend, sharing photos from their childhood with the caption, “when I’m being mean to myself I remember that I’m being mean to them.” On the app, the trend’s associated instrumental sound has more than 205,000 videos. As adults, it may be easy to feel removed from the idea of childhood, and often people are much harder on themselves – their weaknesses, their insecurities – than they ever would be on a child. According to popular therapy app Better Help, “We all have a kid within to tend to.”
One user, @kaituhhh, racked up 8.2M views and 2M likes on her video, which collected more than 11,000 comments like, “no i can't be mean to myself now this nearly made me cry,” and “stop it u just changed my perspective ab being kinder to myself thank u for this.”
Viral TikToker @maiaknight, most notably known for her adorable videos of her twin babies Scout and Violet, took a break from filming her children to put her own childhood self on screen. Her video, with 8.1M views and 1.4M likes, features thousands of comments like, “protect her at all costs,” and “now I’m gonna be nice to myself.”
Another user, @alessyafarrugia, shared her adorable childhood photos with the caption, “this trend changed my whole perspective.” The comments on her video echo the sentiments seen in many other videos participating in this trend like, “brb crying bc i owe myself an apology,” and “I never thought about it like that.”
@hellomynameisshawn on TikTok jumped in on the trend as well, starting conversations in the comments section that highlight the value of this kind of thinking. “This trend is so important,” one comment reads. “Completely agreed,” replied Shawn, “As kids, we dreamt so big. As teens & adults, we spend TOO much time second guessing our worth and potential. we are enough.”
At the core of this trend is the idea of self love and acceptance. Whether you join the thousands of users sharing their childhood snaps, or simply take the reminder with you, the trend can serve as a reminder to take a moment to squeeze your inner child a little tighter today.