Explain Like I’m 35: Who are Lalalala and OKOKOK Girls? (April 30, 2023)

It seems like we have an infinite number of ways with which to categorize ourselves these days. We can try to boil down our personality with Myers-Briggs tests, or our astrological big three. Some proudly display what Hogwarts house they belong to. Others still base their identity around the kind of brands they buy. Then, there are the scores of teenagers on TikTok that keep creating classifications of people for no other reason than to get hundreds of thousands of views about them.

Much has been said about the seemingly endless stream of micro aesthetics that become popular on the app, which are basically glorified ways of dressing up. The blazers, minimal makeup, and slicked buns of Clean Girl Aesthetic remain inescapable thanks to their TikTok dominance not too long ago. Once people started creating things like the Hard Boiled Egg Girl (her nails look like peeled boiled eggs!!), that probably should have been a sign to wrap it all up. Instead, TikTokers took it as a sign to create personality types to go along with them. 

To start things off in a typically logical way, the Lalalala and OKOKOK monikers come from a TikTok sound. It is sourced from the outro of Tyler the Creator’s 2017 song See You Again, which features Kali Uchis. It overlays Kali’s singing of the ‘lala’ part with Tyler’s repetition of the ‘OK’ part, creates a contrast that has apparently captured the imagination of a certain type of TikToker. 

Essentially, this is a prettier repackaging of the Bruh Girl/Hii Girl meme that did the rounds a couple of years ago, that seemed like an exaggerated take on tomboy and girly girl stereotypes as types of people. This time, though, people seem to be taking it more seriously. Being Lalalala or OKOKOK isn’t gender specific, but it’s most often coded as female. At its most basic, its kind of like the different moods of the manic pixie dream girl — Lalalala is when she’s exuding all that initial bubbly charm, and OKOKOK is when she’s in full life-altering DMC mode.

If this makes your brain hurt, I don’t blame you. If you think about it, though, it’s not much more than a Gen Z version of a magazine quiz that finds out which Sex and the City character they are. The young people don’t want to be asked questions, though. They like their archetypes to come with a bit more free association. 

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