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What It Means To Be Called A 'Heather' On TikTok

Photo: @maggiegranttt, @conangray, @kieramarie.xx / TikTok
heather tiktok trend

Anyone with a TikTok account has probably seen the viral “Heather” trend.

If you’re like me, you have definitely been walking around wondering what the heck Heather means on TikTok. Luckily, I did some research so you don’t have to.

What is a ‘heather’ on TikTok?

The idolized character, Heather, is from Conan Gray’s hit song, "Heather."

This song is beautiful and will undoubtedly make you ugly cry every time you listen to it. Seriously, you’ve been warned.

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In the song, Gray sings about having a heartfelt crush on a popular girl named — you guessed it — Heather, who does not love him back. The chorus of the song includes tear-jerking lines like, "Why would you ever kiss me? I'm not even half as pretty," and, "wish I were Heather."

The song came out at the beginning of 2020 and peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Music charts. It increasingly gained fame thanks to its heart wrenching lyrics and viral TikTok takeover.

Once the song became popular, TikTokers worked their magic and turned it into a viral trend almost overnight. 

Who is the ‘Heather’ Conan Gray references in his song?

A Heather isn't necessarily an actual person named Heather, but more of a representation of someone we've all most likely encountered.

We’ve all had a Heather in our lives before: the girl that you hate for no reason at all other than that she’s gorgeous and the person you like is obsessed with her.

Basically, Heather is a beautiful, popular girl that everyone adores... except for you.

Most of us encountered our first Heather in high school or college and haven't forgotten how annoyingly likable she was. 

TikTokers have used the trend to show off how pretty their moms were as a teenager, or how they themselves "used to be" pretty. In their videos, they use various subtitles to say things like, “My mom was a Heather” or “I was my own Heather last year.”

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They are also using this trend to make videos saying that they wish they were a Heather or calling someone a Heather.

   

   

Famous TikTokers that have taken part in the Heather trend include Amanda Baasch and Conan Gray himself. The videos are often melancholy in nature and include Gray's song "Heather" as the only background sound.

After the trend went viral, Gray made a TikTok of his own, joking that he regrets writing the song because now everyone wants to know who the infamous Heather is. 

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What is the ‘Heathers’ trend on TikTok? 

TikTok users have also started a Heather dance challenge that has since gone viral. However, the dance challenge is completely unrelated to the viral videos inspired by Gray's song.

The Heather dance challenge is much more upbeat and features music from the 1988 film "Heathers." The movie involves three extremely popular high school girls, all named Heather, and their scary experience with an unknown killer. Some users have also named the viral trend the "Shut Up Heather" challenge.

   

   

In the viral dance challenge, three friends sassily lip-sync words from the movie "Heathers" while swaying their hips. Each friend lip-syncs their own line in the beginning, and then they all join together for the chorus and the actual dance at the end.

If you're not super coordinated but still want to jump on the TikTok dance bandwagon, this one might be for you.

The Heather dance challenge or "Shut Up Heather" dance challenge is considered fairly easy to learn, as it does not require nearly the same amount of choreography that most viral TikTok dances do.

Here's the Heather dance challenge script to try:

Friend #1: Martha Dumptruck in the flesh

Friend #2: Here comes the cootie squad

Friend #1: We shou-

Friend #3: Shut up Heather!

Friend #1: Sorry Heather!

Friend #2: Look who's with her. Oh my gosh!

All: (Chorus) Dang Dang Diggity Dang a Dang Dang Dang

How To Know If You Are A ‘Heather’

If you're truly feeling down about your "Heather," you should know that you could be a Heather too.

While the dance challenge is a harmless way to have fun with your friends, the other viral videos of Gray's song are a little sad and upsetting. It’s one thing to show off how fab your mom looked in her teens, but to say you wish you were a Heather, or you used to be a Heather, is a sign that you need to learn to love yourself more.

Even if you’re not incredibly popular or your crush likes someone else, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t a beautiful person inside and out. It's easy to get caught up in looks and comparisons, but they're not everything, even if it may feel like it sometimes.

If you have a crush that doesn't like you back because they're into someone else, try to take some reassurance in the fact that you will have plenty more crushes down the road. You might even look back at the person you were once head over heels for and laugh. I know I certainly do.

If you're longing to be a Heather for high school or college popularity reasons, remember that, eventually, your school years will come to an end. Once you graduate no one is judged by their popularity, so try to create as many fun memories as you can instead of worrying about winning a popularity contest.

If self-esteem is something that you notice yourself struggling with more often than not, try taking a break from TikTok and social media altogether. If that seems impossible, at least try to only partake in trends that are fun and make you feel good about yourself, like the Heather dance challenge!

Crushes and popularity set aside, we are all our own Heathers. We are all beautiful and popular in our own ways, we just need to choose to see it.

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Lindsey Matthews is an editorial intern who focuses on relationships, entertainment, and pop culture. Her work has been featured in AFAR, Business Insider, MSN, MSN Canada, MSN India, MSN UK, INSIDER, SFGate, Yahoo, Yahoo Life, Slate and more.

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