There's a lot of research indicating that we're becoming more narcissistic on a global scale, and it's not difficult to see why that's the case. Between Instagram and TikTok, folks are always coming up with more and more ways to show off how good they look, even in posts that really don't have anything to do with flaunting one's beauty: We've all come across the Sun Tzu quote paired with the pool butt/abs shot.
The "16 Missed Calls" trend on TikTok, however, doesn't pretend to be about anything but narcissism.
What is TikTok's "16 Missed Calls" trend?
It's basically a new way of posting one's glow-up but with some added spices: revenge and spite. The before-and-after photos are posted as a rejoinder to a person, real or imaginary, who accuses someone of not being their type. This is usually showcased in the form of text over the "before" photo(s).
Then what follows is an image that reads "16 Missed Calls Later," which is usually posted in tandem with the lyrics of Brent Faiyaz's song of the same name. After that brief intermission comes the reveal: the "after" photos, or a series of pictures and/or video clips meant to convey a sense that the TikToker in question is now way more attractive than they were previously.
Here's how to do the "16 Missed Calls" trend on TikTok.
First, you'll need to find some before photos/video clips that maybe a previous crush of yours recoiled at. Or maybe you want to victimize yourself as someone who was rejected and this post isn't exactly directed at anyone in particular. Whatever the case, get those less-than-glamorous photos of yourself ready.
Put those bad boys in a slideshow and follow them with the "16 Missed Calls" image screen. The text can come in to the rhythm of the "16 Missed Calls" verse. Then, get your glow-up pictures/videos ready and make your "after" slideshow and make sure to set it to Brent Faiyaz's track.
Boom! And that's it, you're done! All you need to do is post it and you're ready to show the world that your appearance has changed drastically (for the better, hopefully) between the two groups of photos.
Now, there's nothing stopping you from posting your current photos (if they aren't to your liking) as the "before" one so you can impress a bunch of strangers on the internet. Or maybe you can just get clever with lighting, angles, makeup, and posing in order to look like you're killing the aesthetics game on social media.
Tons of people are participating in the "16 Missed Calls" trend, but there will probably be a lot of folks who think that the trend only helps to contribute more to growing concerns of body dysmorphia.
Rush.edu writes that while social media doesn't necessarily cause body dysmorphia it can certainly "amplify" the condition, especially if you're constantly scrutinizing the photos you post of yourself or are persistently measuring yourself up against others.
What do you think of the 16 Missed Calls trend? Do you think that it's just contributing to more social media body dysmorphia cases? Or a harmless way to get back at someone who you wish gave you the time of day?