Teens are dancing to voicemails from their toxic exes on TikTok
Dance to empower.
Teen girls are making TikTok videos dancing to audio clips of their exes’ demoralizing voicemails and rants.
“Day 1 of dancing to voicemails from my cheating ex boyfriend,” 18-year-old Isabella captioned the video that started the viral trend on the video-sharing app. In it, she does an interpretive dance with a poker face as a teary voicemail from her ex plays in the background.
“I’m sorry I went off on you,” says the man, whom Isabella broke up with roughly a year ago following a toxic six-month relationship.
“He tended to get angry and lash out sometimes at people,” she tells Rolling Stone. She dumped him after he confessed to cheating on her, then recently found the audio clip of him while cleaning out voicemails to make room on her phone.
Isabella isn’t alone. Her viral video landed on TikTok’s #foryou page, which is virtually the only way content can go viral on the platform, and soon inspired others to record their own versions. She says 10 to 15 other women tagged her in their TikTok videos dancing to their own exes’ voicemails.
One such woman is 18-year-old Tenley, who saw Isabella’s viral video and found it to be “really empowering,” she so uploaded her own iteration.
“Dancing to my ex yelling at me for wearing leggings to school,” wrote Tenley in a TikTok video in which she dances to audio is of her ex-boyfriend claiming an outfit she wore to school disrespected him. Tenley surreptitiously recorded the clip last year when they were still dating and he began yelling at her in his car. The relationship ended when he showed up to her school and tried to block her parking spot, requiring Tenley to go to the police and get a temporary restraining order.
“It was really hard listening to it the first few times, even now,” she tells Rolling Stone. The outpouring of support for the video has convinced her it was the right decision to post it, she says.
“So many girls DM me saying, ‘I’ve been through the same thing,’ and some are saying, ‘I’m literally dating someone like this now and this showed me I needed to get out,’ ” says Tenley.
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