TikTok users break down what society expects of them through the ‘Nightmare’ trend

Women are using a Halsey song to describe the moment they reached their breaking points. 

This sometimes dark and heavy new TikTok trend is also cathartic. For the #NightmareChallenge, people lip-sync to Halsey’s 2019 hit “Nightmare.” The song calls out sexist expectations for women and how speaking out against them can result in women being labeled a “nightmare.” Now it’s an emotional new meme. 

Halsey’s “Nightmare” 

Halsey released “Nightmare” in 2019 as a stand-alone single to critical acclaim. 

“As soon as a woman becomes opinionated or outspoken or in any way or rejects the expectations you have of her, then she’s a nightmare,” Halsey told Rolling Stone of the song. 

Some of the lyrics are, “Come on, little lady, give us a smile / No, I ain’t got nothin’ to smile about / I got no one to smile for, I waited a while for / A moment to say I don’t owe you a goddamn thing.” 

The #NightmareChallenge on TikTok

In the challenge, women lip-sync to the song’s lyrics. They also share tragic and intimate moments where they’ve had to stand up to people who have hurt them.  

@gabbieszulc

#pov : you finally snap at ur abusive boyfriend at dinner with his family after he hit u on the way there #xmasballin #totheleft #winterishere #foryou

♬ Nightmare – Halsey

“POV: you finally snap at your abusive boyfriend at dinner with his family after he hit you on the way there,” the user @gabbiezulc said in her video.

@joerudwen

PART 3- pov: After my abusive stepmom tells me to smile for our “family” photo, I finally snap. ⚠️ FW #foryoupage #killyourvibe #fyp

♬ Nightmare – Halsey

“POV: After my abusive stepmom tells me to smile for our ‘family’ photo, I finally snap,” TikToker @joerudwen stated in her caption

@emeryhoneys

#pov while at a rally, a news reporter tells me to smile for the camera #justiceforahmaud

♬ Nightmare – Halsey

“POV: While at a rally, a news reporter tells me to smile for the camera. #JusticeForAhmaud,” influencer @emeryhoneys wrote about a time she protested the killing of Ahmaud Arbery

@lkaine

pov: the “perfect” daughter of the “perfect family” finally snaps after years of keeping up her image in order to make her parents happy

♬ Nightmare – Halsey

“POV: the ‘perfect’ daughter of the ‘perfect family’ finally snaps after years of keeping up her image in order to make her parents happy,” @lkaine said in a video caption

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