20 March 2023

Chatty TikTok GRWM’s are starting important conversations around womanhood

The GRWN community on TikTok is encouraging girls to share their secrets online to combat loneliness.

For many who were born around the millennium, it’s safe to say that we grew up on the advice of some of our favourite YouTubers: Zoella, RCLBeauty101, Bethany Mota, and the likes. And whilst their Collection concealers and Claire’s accessory hair bows provided some insight into the world of 2010s mainstream fashion and beauty, it was their GRWM (get ready with me) videos that hit the top mark for a young viewer. It was an insight into young adulthood, but also provided important advice amidst the giggling and beauty recommendations. 

But for the next generation, things have changed a little. TikTok is the new Youtube, and anyone can be your new favourite content creator thanks to the algorithm. But the beloved tradition of conversational GRWM has not died; it has simply taken on a new lease of life. Conversation steers toward confessions, as the digital evolution of the girly bedroom chat cracks down on some serious topics. Anxiety, cheating, sex, dating, university, health issues: no topic is off the table. It’s less ‘what to remember in your pencil case for school’, and more ‘how to properly get revenge on a cheating partner’.


anybody else get hit with anxiety in the mornings? #grwm #anxiety #grwmmakeup

♬ LoFi(863235) - skollbeats

First and foremost, it must be acknowledged that these videos do encourage the culture of oversharing personal information online, which can cause privacy issues for the individual user. Compared to the 2010s content creator, who would build a trusted fan base, these videos can reach millions of people and spur negativity and hate. Still, this hyper-visibility, when controlled, become a positive experience for viewers.


Do you guys use the CT contour wand ? #grwm #umiami

♬ original sound - alix earle

The need for online connection has stemmed from the lockdown, where those gaining limited exposure to people their age were also losing out on vital experiences. For the majority that were still in school pre-lockdown, these life lessons were a normal experience, but for those going through teenage and adulthood in lockdown, they have been left as strangers to vital lessons growing up. 

One user titles her video as ‘GRWM while I tell you about the time I got cheated on’. She explains the situation where the boy she was seeing cheated on her and asked her to forgive him, as she applies moisturiser and dewy foundation as her makeup base. She concludes with a sparkling gold eyeshadow whilst stating, “but it affects your womanhood, it affects how you feel as a woman, right?” And for many alone or unsure of who to talk to about life’s hardships, it can provide an online companion supporting your doubts and thoughts, and ultimately, make you feel understood. 

These girls’ bedroom-type chats have escalated in popularity via the podcasting world, with online personalities, Cinzia Baylis-Zullo and Sophia Tuxford, reaching success with their safe space videos and GRWM’s. The Girls Bathroom Podcast that they host discusses “trying to make sense of these boys wasting our time, the girls trying to make our lives difficult and all the things in between.” They have topped charts, released a subsequent book and game, and successfully toured the UK with their confessional style of talking online, proving there is a clear audience for these chats to be had. 


for anyone who’s been judged for drinking out of a plastic bottle 💚💚 #sustainable #sustainability #grwm #sustainableliving #ecofriendly

♬ original sound - ReLauren

Users on TikTok speak on topics from ‘growing up quiet’, ‘having anxiety about events’, and ‘dealing with girls who aren’t girls girls’. Conversations that would usually be confided in with friends can combat isolation and loneliness in individuals, providing big sister-like advice from a distance: a rare win for the internet. One side of GRWM TikTok that has become a safe space for a topic rarely explored in the medical field, never mind spoken about in the norm, is the likes of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) conversations.  

“I have had problems with my skin now for about three to four years now due to me having endometriosis,” says one user, applying concealer underneath her brows. Another tells her own story of dealing with endo pain in her GRWM, opening conversation in her comment section for others to ask for advice.

So as the conversational GRWM gets more personal, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have this sisterhood of women sharing their stories. It’s important to normalise these conversations to avoid feelings of isolation, especially as a woman, and has evolved to be rather wholesome actually. We all need a bit of big sister advice once in a while. 

  • Writer Ella Chadwick Banner Image Credit

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