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  • Writer's pictureKathie Scalf

Trends to End in 2023

It’s true I’m no longer a girl in her 20s; heck it’s true I’m a woman dangerously close to ending her 30s. Which means I’m at that phase in my life where the generational gaps start to become increasingly obvious and I let infuriating colloquialisms like “when I was your age,” and “these kids today” slip with a fair degree of regularity. I must be well on my way to old and curmudgeon, because some days I just wake up and seemingly everything annoys me; this happens to be one of those days. For the last few years there have been stupid things pop up that I thought “surely this is a passing phase and will be gone soon,” and nevertheless they’ve persisted and worse become the norm. I’m here today to present a list of trends that need unfollowing, and my arguments for why. As with everything else in life, this list is strictly opinion and satire and if it offends you, please make your own list and put me on it.

At the top of my list of grievances and the personal bane of my existence: filters.

It started innocently enough. We all downloaded snap chat and took kooky pics of ourselves with puppy tongues, and cat ears and exploding heart eyes. It was all just lighthearted fun! Then Instagram and Facebook got in on the action, creating new technologies to see yourself as an old person or the opposite sex. It was still caricature and no one used them with any degree of seriousness. But slowly, one at a time and with the assistance of “influencers” around the globe, face filters are now created strictly to enhance the features and go undetected, with the majority of people using them in every single photo they capture, and its gotten out of hand. It appears the reality of “real life” is too unappealing and what can a little tweaking hurt? Women in particular are now filtering photos to create an entirely CGI generated appearance that is not even close to their real looks-in fact, that’s the number 1 grievance I hear on online dating from men. They say most women edit and filter their photos so heavily that when they show up in person they’re unrecognizable and feel catfished.

The most beautiful women I know abuse filters more than anyone, which is hardest for me to comprehend. These are knockout 10s that I could only aspire to look like, and every photo of themselves has been altered to give the same fox eye, plump pout, over-highlighted, anime-adjacent image as every other vacant social media “celebrity.” And it’s like they’re so de-sensitized to it, they are using increasingly over-the-top filters to the point they’re looking completely cartoonish and don’t even realize. It’s psychotic and I don’t understand; it truly feels like mental illness to me, and worse, it’s just plain lazy! If you can’t afford the procedures to give yourself a cat-eye or plump your lips in real life, and you don’t want to learn how to do it with makeup, then you don’t get to fake it by slapping a stupid filter on every photo, build a totally new human online and then walk around in the real world looking like Rocky Dennis in Mask. Better yet, learn to love the real you, then promote accordingly. We all want to present the best version of ourselves digitally, but at what point is it becoming a lie?

Now for my next point of grief: the extra-long beard.

Men, you’re not getting off the hook on this list. Back in 2012 or so, we saw a surge in men growing out their beards. The “Lumbersexual” look became popular and the beard oil and barbershop industry exploded. Inch by inch, their beards continued to grow, surpassing Brawny man and moving into Confederate Soldier, and finally landing in Wizard territory. I thought surely these long, disgusting beards will become annoying and this too shall pass in a year or so. And though it’s not as popular as it was a decade ago, I still see far too many men with their over-conditioned face manes for my liking.

I’m a woman who loves a beard and really can’t say I’ve ever dated a man without one. But a neatly trimmed stubble to ½” thickness is plenty. Its masculine but shows you care about your appearance. And no matter what you say, I don’t care how much you moisturize and trim that Duck Dynasty disaster on your face, it is not sanitary. I watch you all eat and drink; I see you sucking the beer foam from your mustache that’s curled into your mouth, and I watch the crumbs fall south and disappear into the forest of wiry uncontrollable hair cascading toward your chest. And for the love of god, shave your neck beard daily. Nothing looks sloppier than a ZZ Top beard with another miniature beard that runs into your chest hair.

Finally: TikTok (or as I call it IckTok.) Why, just…why?

During Covid lockdown, it was kind of understandable. Being locked in your house bored with kids and spouses or alone for weeks on end was the only feasible reasoning in my opinion that a grown adult would set up a camera and film themselves dancing and lip-syncing to other people’s words. But it continued, and then there were TikTok “trends” where multiple people were doing the same stupid dance. Again, not just teenagers-grown adults. Then Instagram created Reels to get in on the action, and now the same ridiculous content is being posted on 2 platforms. Now it’s just the norm to see people standing in front of their phones mouthing quotes and songs and playing pretend like it’s actually not completely weird. And what a time suck! There is something far more addicting about IckTock than any other social media site that has people scrolling nonstop. I have never gotten sucked in, but I have friends and family who spend hours into the day and night numbing their minds with fluff content and probably killing brain cells. I’m kind of sick of social media in general, but IckTok needs to go. If you want to play make believe like a child, go outside and play in nature or get lost in a book; that seems far more constructive than fake-talking into a phone screen alone.

This list could go on for days, but in the interest of keeping a space of positivity I will end here. Once again, this is strictly a matter of opinion and luckily we live in a world where everyone has the freedom to express theirs. And while these trivial matters are very annoying to me personally, in the grand scheme of things, they mean nothing. I just wish in general we would all get back to a more organic mindset and stop the herd mentality. Maybe we can make being un-trendy the next trend!


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