The classic high school hierarchy of jocks, cheerleaders, and nerds that dominated teen movies for decades is officially dead. Instead, the new high school cafeteria is populated by E-Girls, Soft Boys, Gym Bros and VSCO Gals.
Social media platforms like TikTok make it easier for young people to find communities of compatible peers as well as bigger issues to engage with, thus breaking down the social boundaries that long defined the rigid, outdated high-school hierarchy. Classic ideas of “popularity” are being replaced as members of previously marginalized cliques can now enjoy the power and influence that was once reserved only for the cool kids. These new, TikTok-inspired tropes integrate memes and social media aesthetics with film and TV influences, while reflecting real-life trends and personalities.