ICYMI

In the Heights Sparks Gender Euphoria on TikTok

How the movie musical led to a meme used by trans and nonbinary TikTokkers.

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Episode Notes

How did a clip from In the Heights lead to a new TikTok face filter that has helped some of the app’s users express their gender identity? On today’s episode, Madison and Rachelle trace the timeline of this trend, and how it ended up causing a number of trans and nonbinary users to experience gender euphoria.

Even though this is a wholesome trend, In the Heights isn’t free from criticism. As we mentioned on the show, you can read more about that in the New York Times and Slate.

You can find the Wall Street Journal’s investigation of TikTok’s algorithm here.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.

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About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes

Hosts

  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr's demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.