Military Girlies and Coppolacore
after school weekend edition
Welcome back to After School Weekend Edition. Think of the Monday-Thursday letters as the CliffsNotes; this is the extended version for paid subscribers. Thanks for reading — your support makes this possible! 💫
A few weeks ago, TikTok announced it would begin testing a paid ad-free version for users. My initial thought was, “Literally no one is going to pay for TikTok.” A few weeks ago, I was a fool.
Since then, my FYP has been overtaken by TikTok Shop content. Every three or so videos are boosted shopping content, much of it scammy. I’ve seen a video promoting a Khaite cardigan knockoff — using Lilly Sisto’s TikTok, the nerve! — dozens of times. I’ve been served videos for moissanite rings, Ugg dupes, and endless lip oils. I cannot avoid this calendar, which feels weirdly targeted. (Am I a tired-ass woman?)
The worst part is that it’s impossible to tell the scammy from the legit, so I just assume everything that has the little shop icon is bogus. It’s like Super Mario, except instead of dodging fireballs, I’m dodging product hawkers trying to trick me into spending money on fake products.
TikTok Shop officially rolled out just last month, so there’s still time to sort it. They already have 200,000 merchants in the U.S. alone, including major brands, like Benefit Cosmetics, Tarte Cosmetics, and K18, so I’m sure they’re actively iterating and working to improve the user experience. But right now, it’s almost unusable to the point where I would pay $5 a month to avoid it. Maybe that’s their goal.
Today we’re talking about:
The right way to engage with the zeitgeist (by that I mean Taylor Swift), and the wrong way
The a16z-backed Shein challenger popping up in NYC
The brand going all in on Gen Z sponcon
The next big youth retailer is…Tractor Supply
2023 is the year of the lab-grown diamond (because of Gen Z)
A post-mortem on David Yurman’s Sofia Richie collab
Girls are modifying their Uggs to make them “cuter”
TikTok’s favorite fall nail polish
Eventbrite’s Gen Z dating strategy
Popeyes’ TikTok challenge
Gen Z’s ‘promiscuous’ relationship with alcohol (unless Kendall Jenner’s around)
The “what’s love” meme
The viral “Fanum Tax” song
All the girls on TikTok are joking about getting drafted
And everything else that happened this week in style, beauty, and TikTok. There’s also some culture (food, sports, dating — let me know if you like it). Before we jump in, my favorite TikTok of the week:
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