Extremely Online

On TikTok, Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” Is The Soundtrack Of Growth

Next to you, (sobbing) in Malibu

by Courtney Young
Originally Published: 

Time and time again, what is old can be made new again on TikTok. In this case, by “old” we mean a five-year-old song. Miley Cyrus’ hit single, “Malibu,” came out in 2017 on her Younger Now album and currently has nearly 630M streams on Spotify, so it’s not exactly a hidden gem. After spending the last couple of years buried in “summer vibes” playlists, the song is going viral online thanks to a heartwarming TikTok trend. Not every TikTok trend is this wholesome, so let’s savor the moment, shall we?

With 255k videos and counting, the viral sound is being used by TikTokers to humble brag their progress, specifically with the lyric “I never would've believed you, if three years ago you told me, I'd be here writing this song.” These viral videos include stories from burn victims going through recovery, couples reflecting on their love stories, and families overcoming fertility struggles. For all the slop consumed by the chronically online, the occasional reminder that life is tough but people are tougher is a welcomed change.

One TikToker, @fitnesswithramneek, used the trend to share her inspiring fitness journey as a stroke survivor, earning praise in the comments section with notes like, “I’ve got inspirational goosebumps,” and “literal superhero.”

TikToker @julievlorentzen joined the conversation to share a sweet clip from her wedding day, gaining 1.9M likes and nearly 10K comments sharing messages like, “Didn’t think I’d be emotional over 2 people I watch on TikTok but here we are.” She and her partner were legally married in Thailand after first falling in love in 2018.

Beyond reflection, the sound is also being used as inspiration to keep going. Viral good boy, @thatgoldendoodle, used the sound to show off his best trick, putting on his own breathing mask and inspiring kids to be brave through medical treatment.

Of course, TikTok is nothing without its sense of humor, and for every tear jerking video on the app, there's another just a swipe away to make you laugh. One user, @jubilantjulia, plugged the song to share that while some things may have changed in the last few years, one thing has not — her bra size. Her take on the viral trend proved to be relatable, collecting comments like “I literally never have an original experience,” and “TELL NO ONE.”

The resurgence of “Malibu” as the soundtrack to growth is one of the more positive and wholesome trends circulating online right now, and serves as a reminder that whoever you are today is better than who you were yesterday, bra size aside.

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