Illustrating the Reality


Image via Personal Excellence

Raquel Gonzalez Lopez, Writer

TikTok has become the most dominant app, with over 1 billion users, and has brought us countless entertainments and trends throughout the following years. As with any other app, as TikTok has expanded so have its users, and a variety of those users have demonstrated love for specific trends, such as the involvement with art.

“Can’t Help Myself” by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu is a great example of this. Their robotic arm took a toll on TikTok when users bonded over this non-living object and sympathized with it. It began breaking down over the years of constantly keeping a deep-red liquid in a specific area, many stating, “it looked tired.” Even though many felt bad for this machine, a variety of those users saw themselves as this robotic arm. They felt stuck in a never-ending cycle and no matter how hard they tried and how desperately they reached out, they would never get any further from where they started. Many expressed fear that they can’t stop to save themselves and will eventually become the robot.

Another trend that TikTok is blowing up is, “I Love You So” by The Walters where artists would vent about how they feel in a situation they’ve been in. Often this was depicting an image where they are leaving an old loved one, often family members, because of the wrongdoings they’ve committed. They would then proceed to add this song in the background and cut the song to, “I’m going to pack my things and leave you behind.” This also goes along with creators who illustrate their “inner kid” or have talked about how they are healing their inner kid. A great example of this is “Love” by Alexander Milv. A sculpture depicting two people who seem distant but underneath all that, there is a child in each one, reaching for the other. Many can interpret it in their own way, such as my colleague who views this as “two people wishing they could go back, when things were simple,” even though the meaning is “a scene of conflict with hope and innocence rising from within.” Many interpret art through their own experience. Experience is built in our views, and we gradually create our experience through the difficulties we went through as a child. 

Surprisingly, most children and teens have gone through these difficulties, which is why these trends became so popular because of the relatable heart throbbing story that ties this generation together. However, the media has shown us that high schoolers and kids are supposed to be in “their prime,” living outside, running from danger, and exploring the unknown. What adults and political figures fail to see is the outdoors they’ve created for our generation, covered in endless concrete, and turn by turn endless markets. With the outdoors taken from us, we’re cast inside. Yet sometimes, inside seems more brutal than outside. Many are unfortunate enough to get stuck with an unstable family. The only escape began; art. 

However, art isn’t the only thing many of us can interpret. For example, Encanto, a recent movie created by Disney about generational trauma. This film has attracted countless fans due to its relatable and beloved characters, many relating with Luisa. Plenty of fans, though, seemed unsatisfied with the ending, where Mirabel and Abuela made amends. Many think it’s berserk, and that Mirabel shouldn’t have forgiven Abuela so easily, especially because of the things she’s gone through because of her. Despite this being a Disney movie, it’s clear to see that many of these fans see themselves as Mirabel and are in a position where they want validation of their decision if they choose to forgive the ones who’ve done them wrong. 

Many of you fail to see that you don’t have the obligation to forgive nor feel awful for it. Your feelings are valid, though it applies to others as well. Often, living in dysfunctional families with two or more siblings, it’s common for the older sibling to subconsciously pass down the trauma their parents gave them onto their own kin. It’s important to not only heal your own inner child, but it’s also more important to prevent generational trauma. It’s never too late to try and change for not only yourself but for your siblings or loved ones. Don’t let them be the kid whose only escape is their mind and their pen.