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Are You in your Fleabag Era? Let’s Find Out!

If you’ve browsed TikTok this past month, you may have stumbled across users describing themselves going through their “fleabag era”. It’s not a flea carrying the latest Birken, and I sure hope I’m not the only person who initially imagined that. Here, we are going to get to the bottom of this phrase, from its origins to its rise to fame. 

When one inserts the term “fleabag” into search engines, many results stem from a theatre production created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. As an Emmy and Golden Globe award recipient, Waller-Bridge has burst into the comedy world by providing film and television performances in addition to her stage work, all while participating in the production of blockbuster hits such as No Time to Die and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The emergence of a ‘fleabag’ era appears to have been first noted in 2019, where media articles such as one from The Guardian , describe a discrepancy over the definition of “fleabagging”, as it can simultaneously mean being attracted to people that are not compatible with you and your life being a mess in itself. If we look at its current usage in 2021, the latter definition is primarily used, allowing for an easy description for when your life is a chaotic mess but somehow is still going well for you.

We have a lot to unpack from that definition, which requires a short dive into TikTok trends. The ‘that girl’ phenomenon blew up in 2021, representing the athletic, luxurious lifestyle presented through green juice and personal trainers. As much as I love the trend, it can be tiring presenting an image of having your life together. It can still feel at times that you can’t recover from the situations life is throwing at you and you can’t be “that girl.” The “fleabag era” trend allows young adults to embrace the chaotic world we are currently processing. With the fleabag era, gone are the days of Saturday morning jogs, it’s now time to fight a raccoon behind McDonalds at 11pm.  

What’s next for the self described fleabag era? By providing transparency over rough situations, young adults are shown that they are not struggling alone. Growing through a pandemic is hard, so it’s time to drop the perfect facade shown through the ‘that girl’ trend and embrace that some complications make life interesting and unpredictable. 

After doing very thorough research (watching #fleabagera TikToks) I think I would classify myself as going through a fleabag era – how about you?

Savannah is currently in her third year at Uvic, majoring in English and Business. When not swamped with studying, she can be found exploring downtown, drinking way too much coffee, reading, and enjoying the experiences UVic has to offer.
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