What TikTokers really mean when they call each other a ‘Heather’

TikTok can sometimes feel like its own little world, where slang and inside jokes seemingly crop up out of nowhere and next thing you know, you’re searching terms on Urban Dictionary and embarrassed to be on the outside.

The hashtag “Heather” is one of these new trends and currently has over 265 million collective views on the platform with no clear explanation as to who Heather is or what it means.

Videos aren’t much help either — they vary from people calling their parents “Heathers” to teenage girls looking forlorn saying they “used to be a Heather” or all their friends “are Heathers.”

Calling someone a “Heather” can be traced back to the song “Heather” by Conan Gray. The song is about unrequited love and Gray summarizes what “Heather” is to him in an interview with Apple Music:

“It’s about a girl named Heather — I think everyone has a Heather in their life. The person that I really, really liked was in love with Heather. They were not in love with me, and because of that, I f****** hated Heather. I hated Heather with all of my heart and soul.”

The song picked up popularity on TikTok and eventually evolved into girls saying they wished they were Heather. More often than not, followers will react in the comments insisting that the poster is actually a Heather.

While it seems like it intended to be a positive trend, users have also expressed how toxic it can be too. People will share how their whole friend group is made up of “Heathers” and viewers can’t help it but compare themselves.

Others are complaining that the meaning behind Gray’s song is being lost in translation as the trend evolves.

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