Tik Tok hauls are consumerist and damaging. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Tik Tok made me buy it’ but I wonder if this is downplaying what is ultimately a very serious issue: irresponsible and unsustainable spending. By blaming Tik Tok for our shopping habits, we admit how influential the app really is and, as a result, how potentially dangerous it is, especially for young and impressionable audiences.
Seeing thousands of videos of clothes can be really damaging, encouraging a consumerist attitude which manifests in an unhealthy and distorted relationship with money and shopping. The large and consistent amount of videos seems to paint a picture of a world where spending money on fast fashion is cool, desirable. There is a pressure here that would put families in less well off economic situations in a really uncomfortable position. Frivolous shopping may mean nothing to those from stable financial backgrounds, but for those who cannot afford to spend money every week on clothing hauls, they can feel left out and embarrassed about their situation.
Furthermore, as soon as one Tik Tok is posted, there becomes a pressure to release another video from fans eager for more similar content. This leads to a constant cycle of shopping and it is not difficult to see that this could easily spiral into an unhealthy addiction as a result of wanting to please fans.
Another consideration is whether Tik Tok leads to a downplaying of the element of individuality. Current trends and fashionable items are largely influenced by viral Tik Toks – think that infamous L’Oreal mascara or those gym leggings which claim to make your bum look great. It is less about finding thrifted gems from sustainable fashion sources and far more about buying the same popular items that everyone else is. Some of the most popular videos of this type do not even show the item being worn, yet receive millions of views and comments.
Tik Tok fashion hauls can be great if they are done in the right way, but perhaps content creators are becoming bling to the potentially pressurising, damaging impact their videos have.