The Brief: The #BuiltDifferent trend on TikTok sees creators illustrating how they are "built different" while poking fun at controversial topics.
The #BuiltDifferent trend on TikTok sees creators positioning themselves in the wildest scenarios and how they’d simply escape or beat it because they are “built different.” These videos are intended to be funny while tackling serious topics like, racial stereotypes, gender norms, misogyny, and historical/current events.
In these videos, TikTokers typically point a finger at their gun (bicep), point a toy gun at the camera, or flip off the camera while on-screen text showcases the skills that make them elite. These skills illustrate how they are able to tackle an issue. These videos are also marked by TikTok’s “Disco” or “Earthquake” effect. They began growing in popularity in late July.
He a opp what the f*ck I’m gon fight for?
Shed light on yo block with this lightpole
Dumb n*gga, Broke Boy, pockets lypo
All caps you sucking d*ck, it’s not a typo, aye
Some takes on the trend are performed to “Don’t Like” Remix by Chief Keef featuring Kanye West, Pusha T, Jadakiss, and Big Sean.
The qualities in the #BuiltDifferent trend are typically listed in the same format as a video game character. Typically, the skills list begins with “built: different” or “breed,” followed by a noun broken up into two words, separated by a colon. Ex: Sus: pect, Race: ist, Dis: ability to bring the smoke. Some skills include company names and/or services, like “Amazon: Prime” or “State: Farm.”
These videos are intended to be funny. Many of the themes surrounding #BuiltDifferent TikToks appear to take aim at racial stereotypes, gender norms, misogyny, atrocities(the Holocaust, slavery), and current events. TikTokers claim they can change the discourse or solve an issue around these themes by using their elite skillset.
On the other hand, some videos are created with the sole purpose of being controversial:
Tell COVID to bring the other 18 because I’m simply unstoppable 😈 #builtdifferent
The trend is also becoming a meme, as creators are also indicating they are “built different” in completely unrelated videos.