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“She Lives Inside of Me”: The TikTok Trend Teaching Us to Be Kinder to Ourselves

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

The TikTok trend, “She Lives Inside of Me,” has taken over more than just my For You Page. If you are unfamiliar with the trend, it sets out to honor the inner child that still lives in all of us, and I’ve found myself totally enthralled these past few weeks.

The trend features old pictures and videos of each creator from their childhood set to music, with the simple caption: “She lives inside of me.” The TikToks are a wholesome and fun way to reflect on how much you’ve grown – both physically and mentally — but there’s more to be said about the trend in how we treat ourselves. 

One TikTok showcases the creator very young wrapped up in her father’s arms, staring straight into the camera. He swings her around, dancing, while she yells “I love you” to her mom off-screen. Another video, the first that I saw, was creator @averytheawesomest swinging on the monkey bars with her mom proudly filming, dressed in a matching soccer sweat suit from Justice. 

Watching these snippets of strangers’ lives brings a smile to my face but also could make me teary-eyed. As I sit here and scroll through the videos with nostalgia for an early 2000s childhood, I found myself wondering:

How the hell did I end up here?

I’m sitting here writing this, worried about three upcoming exams, trying to get all my work done, and feeling stressed about my future. When I’m not worried about school, I’m looking in the mirror worried about my acne or if my hair is sitting right. But there once was a time, in all of our lives, that we ran barefoot in the grass and jumped through sprinklers, and boogie-boarded at the beach with the only concern being the next wave to be caught. I can’t remember the last time I swung weightless on monkey bars or truthfully danced like no one was watching. The simpler times when our favorite shoes were light-up, our favorite meals were crustless, and our favorite shows were on The Disney Channel.

Watching these TikToks left me stumped wondering, what happened? When did life stop feeling like that? How could I get it back?

The answer? Like the trend states: She lives inside of you.

Sure, I am the 19-year-old woman I am today, but I also am the 11-year-old who split her eyebrow open on Easter Sunday, the 8-year-old who was scared of the dark, and the 3-year-old that broke her arm in a tragic tricycle accident. 

This logic isn’t groundbreaking or revolutionary in its complexity. We are all mosaics of our experiences. Every moment — big or small — has led to the development of the people we are today. Everything we celebrate about ourselves, and everything we tear down comes from a perfect series of events from our past.

That being said, with this new mindset shift, I am living my life every day for the little girl with the runny nose and remnants of whatever she had for lunch that day around her mouth. I am taking my knowledge with me but bringing her unwavering curiosity along the way. I am taking all the lessons I have learned from the people that have done me wrong, but I’ll preserve her ability to trust and love wholeheartedly. Most of all, when I feel low, questioning what I’m even doing, or if I am cut out for this, I’ll think about that little girl who had no idea what possibilities and adventures would soon be in store for her.

We’re all just trying our best to get by in the best way we know how. Be kinder to yourself this semester — and all the time for that matter.  

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Samantha Baldacci

U Mass Amherst '25

Sam is currently a Junior at UMass Amherst studying Biology and Psychology. She enjoys reading, listening to music, aimlessly scrolling on TikTok, and hanging out with friends.