A NEW TREND OR A TWIST ON AN OLD FAVOURITE?
“Hey guys, get ready with me while I update you on my life!”
Does that line sound vaguely familiar to you? If you’re on TikTok, there’s a strong chance that it does.
These stem from a growing genre aptly named “Get Ready With Me” (GRWM). Popularized from the beauty community and skincare side of the app, GRWM’s show an influencer going through their daily skincare, makeup, or morning routine while they talk about themselves. This is often done while showcasing some of their favourite or newly bought products, which they use throughout the video.
If you search GRWM on TikTok, you will find millions of these videos, with some of them receiving millions of likes. However, these videos seem so mundane — so why are they popular?
The first piece of understanding this trend is to note that this is not a new thing. There has always been some version of an influencer filming themselves and taking viewers through their day. This became really popular on YouTube during the early 2010’s. Vlogging and story time YouTubers seemed to grow hand in hand, with influencers like Tana Mongeau, Gabbie Hanna, and others at the forefront of the trend. Videos about daily makeup routines, de-cluttering, and just general life vlogs began to flood the YouTube recommended page.
Another important aspect of these videos came from the rapid growth of the online beauty community — this introduced a consumeristic appeal. Massive “haul” videos and reviews became popular, leading to the growth of beauty influencers like James Charles. These influencers would review makeup on a consistent basis, leading to huge amounts of inventory, which they would eventually use for other types of content (often de-cluttering and best or worst product videos).
This trend eventually made its way to Instagram, where short-form versions of these videos flourished, indicating that there is a demand for short-form vlogs. Shortly after, TikTok came along; the peak of short-form video content. Although dances, thirst traps, and other trends ruled the platform initially — GRWM’s eventually came to claim their own little corner.
GRWM’s are an interesting mesh of both the short-form content and product reviews that were so popular on Youtube. Instead of watching a 10-minute video of someone reviewing makeup while updating on their life, it can be done in one minute. You can get the punchy stories of Karens taking over the workplace while also getting advice on what eye cream you need to get rid of your under-eye circles. What more do you need when you’re scrolling?
There is also a parasocial relationship created with these TikTok influencers. Unlike celebrities, these influences could be your friend; thus, there is an idea that viewers can trust what they say — especially if these influencers overshare some of their life details.
During COVID-19, there was a boom in e-commerce. Everyone was buying online, and the skincare and haircare industries benefitted greatly from this. This focus on the beauty world combined with everyone’s desire to improve skin health led to a sudden rise of skincare content on TikTok. And these skincare videos presented themselves in the form of GRWM videos.
So what does this mean for the future of GRWM videos?
Right now, we’re seeing a trend on de-influencing — pushing back against the consumerist interest in these videos. Despite this, I don’t think these videos will be going anywhere anytime soon. For one reason or another, we are drawn to these influencers. We want to learn more about them, what they do, and how they look the way they do. Add to this our collective fascination with getting the newest thing, and you have a trend that will outlast whatever platform it finds itself on next.