Oct. 21, 2022, has arrived. In terms of pop culture and the music sphere, it's Taylor Swift's day. It's essentially a holiday, and Swifties across the globe are losing their entire minds. To clarify, Taylor Swift's 10th studio album, "Midnights" — which she brought to life with the help of her long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff — was released on Oct. 21. This is the beginning of a brooding new era.
“'Midnights' is a collage of intensity, highs and lows, and ebbs and flows,” the Grammy-winning songstress explained on Twitter. “Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic, or lonely. Just like 'Midnights.' Which is out now.” The 13-track album is accompanied by seven surprise songs, which Taylor deemed "the 3 a.m. tracks."
Because Swifties take stanning to a whole new level, music streaming service Spotify was bombarded at the strike of midnight, causing "reported outages worldwide," per CNN.
And though the highly-anticipated album hasn't even been out for 24 hours, it's already spawned a viral internet challenge, which has been making waves on both TikTok and YouTube Shorts. So, what is the "Anti-Hero" challenge? We're here to explain it.
Taylor Swift fans look within themselves for social media's "Anti-Hero" challenge.
We hope you're ready to get vulnerable because the "Anti-Hero" challenge encourages T. Swift fans to reveal and admit their flaws. We all have 'em.
"Anti-Hero" is a song on "Midnights," one that sees Taylor Swift admit her own faults and ponder over their consequences. With lyrics like, "It's me / Hi / I'm the problem, it's me," and, "I'll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror / It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero," "Anti-Hero" is a painfully relatable and poignant tune.
In an official collaboration with YouTube Shorts, Taylor launched the #TSAntiHeroChallenge, which "is all about acknowledging and celebrating the traits that make each of us truly unique and showcasing one’s true self in a FUN way,” as explained in the official prompt. It further states that an anti-heroic trait could be something as frivolous as "clapping at the end of movies" or "always putting your feet on the car dashboard."
To take part in the challenge, users can upload a YouTube Short video (or a TikTok video) that incorporates audio from "Anti-Hero" (specifically the part featuring the lyrics "It's me / Hi / I'm the problem, it's me") and highlights a personal anti-heroic trait. Make sure to include the hashtag #TSAntiHeroChallenge.
In Taylor's YouTube Shorts videos, she rags on her own "self-imposed isolation" and the fact that she "thinks her cat is her son."
And while some TikTok creators are keeping their videos light, others are using the challenge to dissect their deep insecurities.
User Joe Garmon hilariously poked fun at his flustered inability to make a decision at a restaurant, writing "when the waiter comes to the table for the third time to ask if we are ready."
On the other hand, @paigeisaswiftie used the challenge to highlight her mental health struggles, even including a clip that shows she literally covered her mirror with a sheet. It takes the lyric, "I'll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror," to a whole new level.
Paige bravely admitted that the emotional TikTok was "scary to post," but she ultimately felt it was relatable.
Whether you decide to make your video silly or deep, the "Anti-Hero" challenge helps us realize that we're all battling inner demons, big or small.