Making Social Theory Viral on TikTok with Biz Sherbert
Biz Sherbert is a fashion theorist inspired by Mark Fisher, who's figured out how to make academic theory resonate with millions of people on TikTok. These videos earn her writing and consulting gigs, which she's leveraging to build an independent intellectual life instead of doing a PhD. We discuss all of this plus a bunch of fascinating tangents on internet aesthetics, Dark Academia vs. Chaotic Academia, Caroline Calloway, fashion advice for aging Millennial men like Justin, and Biz's desire to marry a listener of this podcast.
➡️ Biz's blog: sherbert.biz
➡️ Biz on Instagram: @markfisherquotes
➡️ Biz on TikTok: BimboTheory
How Biz is building a career publishing social theory on TikTok
Justin Murphy: How exactly does fashion theory go viral on TikTok?
Biz Sherbert: The one that really got big was a video explaining the history of the e-girl heart, which is just a little heart that's drawn onto the cheek of e-girls. It's a really popular makeup style in that group. It actually comes from an 18th-century and earlier European cosmetic tradition of trying to cover up deformities on the face, scars and deformities from smallpox. I think that just hit a sweet spot for people because e-girls are so well known on that platform.
I started getting emails from journalists, asking me to provide insight on GenZ TikTok fashion. I've done that a couple times on Cottagecore, Dark Academia, the viral strawberry dress, Simping...
They basically will write a story and they'll just look up "Cottagecore." And they'll see a couple people from " the hashtag that are on the top of the hashtag and interview them.
Every single person who's found my videos has looked up "Dark Academia" or "Cottagecore" or something, and seen one of my video essays at the top of the hashtag.
On the GenZ marriage postponement problem
Biz Sherbert: If anyone wants to marry me from the podcast, who's listening, you can DM me @markfisherquotes on Instagram.
Justin Murphy: I bet you'll get at least a couple. Just make sure they're not theorycels.
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