You may hear your kids talking about a “lala bop.” Here’s why you don’t want them taking part in the TikTok trend
Slang terms and TikTok trends are two things that tend to go over parents’ heads. But if you hear your kids talking about “lala bops,” here’s why you should pay attention—and make sure they aren’t taking part in the damaging new fad.
“Lala bop” is a new TikTok trend with a name that sounds harmless and silly, but in reality, is anything but. A “lala bop” is a slang term used on TikTok to describe a tween or teen girl who has had sex (or engaged in sexual acts) with multiple people. The term is used in videos to slut-shame girls—the videos are often posted along with photos of girls in order to harass or bully them for dating around or being promiscuous.
The videos imply that the girls they target have a high “body count,” which is another slang term for sexual partners. But oftentimes, they’re based on rumor, not fact. And when these vicious videos start to circulate on social media, well, you can imagine how damaging that can be for the students who are targeted by them.
“As with the downside of social media, this trend seems to be another way to bully, shame, or exclude someone, which can have a negative impact on that person’s social and mental well-being,” Dawn Bounds, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, told Parents. Searching for the term brings up tons of videos (we won’t link to any here, for obvious reasons).
So how can you protect your kids? Monitor their social media use when they’re young (even if they complain about it—safety first!). And keep an open dialogue with them about important safe sex topics like consent. At the end of the day, you can’t guarantee your child will never be the subject of bullying like a “lala bop” video, but you can give them the tools to fight back, like teaching them how to report abusive content on social media platforms and telling their teachers and school administrators when they witness that kind of cruel behavior happening among their peers.