With the US election finally winding down, the news cycle has been pretty grim. Hillary Clinton is busy fending off another email scandal and Donald Trump is doing what he’s always been doing: Being an arsehole. Thankfully, the youth of America are here to save us.
In a new trend called the #mannequinchallenge, teens are imitating mannequin statues, freezing for the camera and creating living portraits that are shared around the internet. The goal of the challenge is to basically create the most insane scene of frozen people imaginable.
The whole thing first started with a group of six high schoolers posted a short video of them acting like statues with the caption “#manequinchallenge Share!! RT!!” on October 27. It took about a week for the trend to really pick up, but over time, the post gathered more than 4000 retweets and 4000 likes.
— blackie (@pvrity___) October 26, 2016
As the original post slowly picked up steam, new videos were posted to social media. Groups of teens from around the US began creating their own versions, causing the hashtag to surge in popularity.
At some point during the initial surge, someone added the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd to the mix. The watery synth in the intro of the song perfectly fits the #mannequinchallenge videos because it makes it look like someone is stepping into a room and discovering a frozen world.
Then, boom: A new meme was born. High school students were making their own videos, and several schools (miraculously) convinced their entire student sections to participate at football games. Once it caught on at high school football games, the #mannequinchallenge spread to university sports teams a day later.
— Cobster (@woahcobyiscool) November 4, 2016
— philipwinham (@philipwinham) November 5, 2016
— Kailey Schwartz (@keschwartz08) November 6, 2016
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 6, 2016
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) November 5, 2016
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) November 6, 2016
Then at the height of its popularity, this Monday, professional sports teams got in on the action. The New York Giants celebrated a victory by creating a #MannequinChallenge video in the locker room after the win. The Dallas Cowboys celebrated their victory by doing the same thing on the team’s private jet. Even Nascar pit crews crashed the party – a sign that this couldn’t possibly last much longer.
— New York Giants (@Giants) November 6, 2016
— Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) November 6, 2016
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 4, 2016
So it must be over now, right? Not a chance. According to Google Trends, which tracks searches over time, the trend appears to be on the rise and could possibly surpass its height in popularity from this Monday. The only catch is that now, the stakes are higher than ever before.
We’ve basically seen about every combination you can think of – with people fighting, dancing, breaking things, reading books and working out – so if you really want to stand out in this trend, it’s going to have to get creative. Surprisingly, there are some people out there who just refuse to let this die.
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 7, 2016
— cam koly. (@SouljaCortez) November 7, 2016
But there is really only one #mannequinchallenge that matters, and it belongs to the creator of the song “Black Beatles“, Rae Sremmurd, who recently convinced the audience at a concert to play along.
— ️ (@imWaavey) November 7, 2016
Since then this meme has officially gone mainstream. The members of your favourite R&B group Destiny’s Child (Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams) created their own version of the #mannequinchallenge and posted it to Instagram.
So pay respect to the new trend and my new anthem, “Black Beatles“.