“Spilling the tea” on pop culture’s idolization of conflict


“Lingo” inspired by popular YouTubers like James Charles and Emma Chamberlain, include terms such as “Spill sis” and “What’s the tea?”, both refer to the spreading of secrets among besties and frenemies. The trend exposes pop culture’s beautification of inappropriately handling situations in order to get the worst reaction possible, as long as the cameras are rolling.

Using terms such as “tea” indicate that spreading the private business of others is something entertaining. Even before it became locally popular, shows and networks have solely devoted content to spreading gossip. Shows such as Entertainment Tonight or TMZ are examples of two broadcasting empires built upon the same principle; destroying the reputations of everyday people and celebrity figures alike is okay as long as the thousands of viewers at home get a good laugh as they heat up their Ramen noodles.

Long before James Charles first appeared in 2015, the modern day secular world appropriated gossip as something to be celebrated in a lighthearted fashion. The truth is, exposing someone else’s personal matters is a disease that society has learned to accept as the norm. Making hasty judgements based on statements that may not even be true has become so integrated that people no longer hesitate before sitting down to hear the latest “tea” on their favorite celebrity or their bestie.

Recently, people have just adopted the trend as something to do in order to spice up everyday affairs, regardless of possible conflicts that may arise.

Pop culture has always favored starting petty drama, as opposed to confronting people with the truth. It is not surprising that idolizing conflict through encouraging shady behavior has become so trendy, it’s sad. People spend so much time worrying over who said what that they forget to question whether or not what they’ve heard is even true. Friendships descend into hatred over a few words that can easily be misconstrued due to today’s lenient nature with gossip.

At the end of the day, it is better to keep the conflict right where it belongs; in front of the cameras at TMZ, James Charles’ house and out of everyday life.
That’s the real tea, sis.