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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Gen Z women are documenting their break-up journeys online

Gen Z women are sharing their break-up journeys online with such searing candor that it feels like heartache voyeurism.

TikTok users — from influencers to just regular women — now share break-up vlogs capturing their days after a huge relationship ending.

If you’re imagining typical aspirational girl boss content featuring women living their best lives post-break-up and dancing to empowering songs by Lizzo, you’d be wrong.

The trend is women sharing their vulnerability after their relationships crumble.

There’s crying, discussing how hard it is to get out of bed and a significant focus on admitting that a relationship ending is tough.

shay jarman
Shay Jarman shared her breakup journey online to help other women who are struggling.

Influencer Shay Jarman documented the end of a four-year relationship by creating a TikTok that shared how she spent the first day by herself after her boyfriend had moved out of their shared home.

In the footage, she gets ready for the day, applying her make-up while explaining how she now feels as though she has to start entirely from “scratch”.

Shay revealed she’d been with her ex through some pretty formative years, from nineteen to twenty-three, and fears she “doesn’t know herself anymore”.

princess pellow
The trend documents women sharing their vulnerability after their relationships crumble.

princess pellow
Women are capturing what it takes for them to get through this stage of their life.

The video follows Shay as she gets out of bed, does her make-up, searches for new furniture online and does her laundry.

She’s just putting one foot in front of the other as she tries to process the end of her relationship.

The candid TikTok amassed over 500,000 views, resonating with young women who were quick to weigh in.

“I feel this vibe 100%,” someone commented.

“Going through the exact same thing right now, we can do it,” someone cheered.

Some ladies emphasize getting ready and dolled up helps ease the pain.

“I feel you, I see you, and it will get better,” someone promised.

“Girl, same, but we are going through it together,” another wrote.

Australian influencer Abigail Pellow also documented how she coped after her romantic relationship did not work out.

While others admit it’s tough getting out of bed.

In her post-break-up TikTok, she’s seen taking her dog for a walk and going to the gym.

A voice-over expresses that she’s looking for someone who doesn’t see a relationship as a “chore”.

She’s since turned her break-up into a series where she shows her new daily life as a single woman.

Often, the videos are as simple as her cleaning her bathroom sink or going to get frozen yogurt.

“Life after a break-up: it’s hard when all you want to do is love but at the end of the day you have to love yourself more and put yourself first. Trust your gut and trust that time heals all,” she wrote.

Similarly, content creator Hannah Lane has documented her break-up online.

She’ll upload TikToks that follow a basic day in her life, including everything from brushing her teeth to playing on her laptop.

“Breakups suck so badly. I don’t feel like doing anything, but I promise these videos will get more entertaining,” she wrote.

Hannah has created a series around the break-up where she’s documented her days afterwards and they rack millions of views. Interestingly, her days often heavily feature her not doing much; perhaps that’s what makes it so relatable.

Who really achieves anything when navigating the post-break-up fog?

Mental health expert Tracey Horton said this trend isn’t surprising because humans are “wired” to want to share when good or bad things happen.

“Emotions are always healthier for us when we can speak and share them and social platforms like TikTok have created a genuine outlet for us to see and be seen,” she told news.com.au.

shay jarman
The trend has women revealing the ups and downs of the breakup process.

It can feel jarring to see influencers pull back the curtain on their seemingly perfect lives, but Horton explains that it is simply a “natural progression”.

“We live in a society with a lot more social access, and it seems a lot less social etiquette than previous generations. I believe this isn’t necessarily wrong; in fact it is a natural progression that I see will only grow bigger and bigger.”

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