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@tessmaylo / @swiftiepads / @emmalynnestout via TikTok
Culture > Digital

How To Figure Out If You’re A Betty Or An Augustine

It’s August season! I know we all collectively listen to Taylor Swift at all times and during all of the different seasons of the year, but the month of August is special since it has a song of its own: Taylor Swift’s “August” might as well be this month’s official melody, given its resurgence in popularity online. The hashtag #SaltAir even trended on Twitter during the first few hours of August, as everyone was preparing to listen to “August” like there’s no tomorrow. On TikTok, there are over 60,000 videos using the official sound, and TikTokers are starting to compare themselves to either Betty or Augustine, the two main characters in the song’s lyrics. Some are posting photos and videos of themselves and asking their followers to choose which girl from the Taylor Swift Cinematic Universe they are. 

The hashtag #bettyoraugustine on TikTok has over 600,000 views already, and there you’ll find creators questioning which fictional character from the song they are. Creator @madsbedumb_ uploaded a video with photos of herself, and most of her comments decided that she’s “a Betty” — except for one comment that believes the creator is “an Augustine.” @ebonymaii also participated in the trend and in her comment section we can see that most people have decided that she’s “an Augustine,” but it’s not a unanimous decision. 

That uncertainty to declare if someone is “a Betty” or “an Augustine” happens in almost every single video in this trend. In the comment section, you’ll find people enthusiastically saying a creator “is so a Betty,” but that same enthusiasm will also be in the next comment, when someone declares that the creator in question is, for sure, “an Augustine.” Creator @ambermisao brought to light the confusion we were all feeling with this trend: How are we supposed to know who’s a Betty and who’s an Augustine? 

But before we decide who’s a Betty and who’s an Augustine, let’s recapitulate what we know about both of them. On July 24, 2020, Taylor Swift dropped her eighth studio album, folklore, which included the songs “Cardigan,” “Betty,” and “August.” Swifties then noticed that the songs complemented each other, and possibly represented the different points of view of the characters who were briefly involved in a love triangle. This theory was confirmed by Taylor herself on the Folklore – The Long Pond Studio Sessions, available on Disney+.

According to Taylor, the people involved in the love triangle are James, Betty, and Augustine. “Cardigan” is Betty’s point of view, “Betty” is James’, and “August” is Augustine’s side of the story. And through the beautiful lyrics of each song, we find out that James had this summer love with Augustine, but then chooses to go back to his partner, Betty. Augustine is then left heartbroken.

The songs, however, don’t disclose the characters’ physical traits or appearance — that’s why it’s so difficult to figure out who someone is based on just their photos. With “Cardigan” and “August,” Taylor shares how emotional each girl is, their insecurities, and what James means to them. (In the end, Betty is the one that gets the guy.)

So to figure out whether you’re an Augustine or a Betty, it really is up to you. And depending on what you’re going through, you can fluctuate between being either one of the girls. Like all of Taylor’s songs, the characters in the song are up for interpretation. There are millions of versions of Betty and there are millions of versions of Augustine because they represent something for each person that listens and enjoys the song. That’s why TikTok users can’t come to a conclusion when questioned if someone is a Betty or an Augustine — Taylor Swift’s beloved characters mean something different for each of us.

Carolina is a national contributing writer and was formerly a summer and fall 2021 editorial intern at Her Campus. She's a Brazilian journalist and writer, and she's very passionate about TikTok, coffee shops, and Taylor Swift.