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The ‘Mama Said’ TikTok Trend Gives Creators Permission To Live Their Best Lives

There’s something satisfying about living your best life despite what other people say. Whether it’s mustering the courage to wear a badass outfit to class or finally making peace with your body, sometimes, all it takes is a little confidence boost to remind you that it’s your time to shine. In the “Mama Said” TikTok trend, creators are telling us who gave them permission to live their best lives — from their favorite TV characters to their real-life moms and beyond. 

Nearly every viral TikTok trend begins with a catchy song, and of course, this one is no different. The trend features audio from the song “Mama Said” by Lukas Graham, which has already been used in over 726,000 videos on the app. In the audio, you’ll hear the lyrics: “Mama said that it was okay/Mama said it was quite all right.” It’s a short soundbite, but more than enough to form the basis for this relatable trend, in which TikTokers tell us who, exactly, said it was “all right” to do the cool thing they’re doing.

When was the last time someone questioned your decisions, made you doubt yourself, or even suggested you avoid something altogether? I can definitely think of a few personal examples, but as always, I’ll let creators do the (tik) talking. Some of the best versions of the “Mama Said” trend are from TikTokers who felt inspired by their favorite celebs, like Georgie, who responds to the question, “Why do you never wear a bra?” with pictures of Jennifer Aniston in Friends (IYKYK). In another version, TikToker @xoxoalexmarie is told, “You can’t change your aesthetic every time you go through a different phase of life,” to which she responds by showing iconic images of Taylor Swift doing exactly that. No matter how you interpret the “Mama Said” trend, the goal is to sync your images with the lyrics “Mama said that it was okay” — thus, showing the world who taught you the ropes.

Queen Serena Kerrigan (AKA SFK) hopped on the trend with her Sex and the City-themed version, and viral TikToker @Rod takes some career lessons from Jim Halpert from The Office. I’m totally here for this one from TikToker Elise, who responds to the question, “Why don’t you shave your arms?” with gorgeous pictures of Zendaya rocking arm hair and the caption “she is fr the only person whose opinion i care about.” Same. Also, why is women’s body hair controversial in the first place?

To try the “Mama Said” TikTok trend at home, first, think of something others have questioned you about or advised you not to do. Then, think of someone who proves that you can, in fact, do that thing, like Harry Styles showing you that it’s totally acceptable to mix gold and silver jewelry or your favorite TikToker reminding you it’s okay to live your best life post-breakup. Did someone just tell you that you can’t back out of a difficult conversation? Well, according to Nick Miller from New Girl, you absolutely can — and the accompanying choreo makes this version from @hannah_neese even funnier

Apart from the cheeky examples of “Mama Said” all over my FYP, there are always endearing versions that capture the trend in sweet ways, and this example from @CaspianLarkins takes the cake. When asked, “How are you so comfortable wearing dresses? Doesn’t everyone stare?” He responds with pics of his real-life mama, Misty, who recognized a king from day one and encouraged him to go for it. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Whether you’re taking inspiration from your real life mom or the Queen of the North and her hubby Joe, the “Mama Said” TikTok trend leaves lots of room for creativity, humor, and showing love to your favorite celebrities. Grab the trending audio here when you’re ready to try “Mama Said” for yourself, and show us how you’re living your best life these days. I promise, it’ll be quite all right — no matter what others say.

Tianna was an Associate Editor at Her Campus Media HQ where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, wellness, and TikTok trends. She graduated from North Carolina State University and received her masters from Columbia University. Tianna currently lives in New York City where you can find her sipping coffee, practicing yoga, and singing show tunes.