Statistically speaking, fashion trends repeat themselves every 20 to 30 years – this is also the case with the so-called „90s Yearbook Challenge“. The yearbook photographs in the style of the 1990s are currently very trendy and ultimately represent a filter into which individual photos can be inserted. The filter included classic, 1990s-typical outfits, a stack of books and a comparatively pale image look (as was common with the cameras in use in the 1990s).
On Instagram, TikTok or elsewhere on the web, the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ is currently spreading virally and no one really knows where it actually came from. The following article will therefore deal with a comprehensive definition of the term „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ as well as its origin and meaning. Furthermore, the main areas of application and target groups of this popular new challenge will be shown.
Definition: 90s Yearbook Challenge
The term „90s Yearbook Challenge“ refers to a viral challenge on various social media platforms in which users use the „90s Yearbook Challenge“ filter to upload their own pictures of themselves in this style to social media. Mind you, these are users who were not even born in the 1990s. However, out of sympathy for the decade of the 1990s and the lifestyle of that time, such photos are currently very trendy.
Moreover, the photos themselves also serve as a source of sympathy and are intended to portray the user in a more tangible and approachable way. Due to the constant request of other users on social media to follow this trend, the „90s Yearbook Challenge“ is becoming more and more widespread.
Origin and significance of the 90s Yearbook Challenge
The „90s Yearbook Challenge“ originated in the spring of 2023, when a special artificial intelligence (AI for short) was developed to produce such images in combination with a filter. In addition to the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ filter, there are other popular filters in the style of the 1990s. The decade itself was characterised by supermodels, techno and colourful neon colours – these and many other influences can be easily recreated in the respective filters. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a sportsman, an actor or a musician – pretty much everyone of distinction sometimes created a picture of themselves in the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ style and spread it on social media. For most users, the „90s Yearbook Challenge“ therefore means something like community, belonging and sometimes making a fool of oneself (which is intentional!).
How the 90s Yearbook Challenge works
The app with the corresponding „90s Yearbook Challenge“ generator was developed by a South Korean company. You first have to download it. Then the Epik app is populated with individual photos, from which the funny pictures in the style of US yearbook photos can then be generated. The app itself is currently one of the most popular and fastest-selling apps and works on all common platforms, such as iOS. Once the „90s Yearbook Challenge“ pictures have been created with the Epik app, they then only need to be uploaded to social media – a request from other users is often added to the picture description.
Areas of application for the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge
Today, we encounter the legendary Epik app primarily in the following areas:
- Social Media
- Artificial intelligence
The following subsections will be used to take a closer look at the main areas of application of the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“.
On social media, the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ images serve primarily to entertain and create a sense of community. In the course of the challenge, friends, acquaintances or strangers are motivated to also post „90s Yearbook Challenge“ photos of themselves on social media. Through targeted captions and the use of special hashtags, the term „90s Yearbook Challenge“ is also spreading more and more. Gradually, the trend spilled over from TikTok, or Instagram, to other areas of the internet.
In the field of AI, the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ is of course another interesting example of how image creation and image editing can already be automated by innovative AI tools. In this context, AI is not only used for scientific or productive purposes, but also for entertainment. With the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ generator, a new era seems to be dawning in which AI is now also gaining more and more acceptance and use in the entertainment sector.
Social classification of the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“
Socially, the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ can be assigned primarily to younger generations, such as generations Z and Alpha. These are mostly younger than 25 years old and thus belong to the main target group of the social media platforms TikTok and Instagram. Celebrities, athletes and musicians, however, are mostly older than the aforementioned target groups, but serve as important influencers for this trend (and implement it as well) due to their popularity. The „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ is therefore understood by a fairly broad mass of people and is perceived as funny and entertaining.
Reviews of the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge
Although the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ is in itself a funny, harmless social media trend, it is sometimes sharply criticised from many sides. The main criticism is the educational added value of this challenge, which, in the eyes of the critics, also wastes a lot of time. The romanticisation of older decades is also criticised – young people today would not be able to cope without the comforts of today anyway and would therefore not have found the 1990s as great as it is always portrayed. In addition, there is criticism that the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ is once again a typical social media trend that the uninitiated would not understand anyway.
Conclusion on the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ and similar trends
The bottom line is that the „90s-Yearbook-Challenge“ can be understood as a fun, new social media trend based on the Epik app of a South Korean company. The app allows – through the use of an AI filter – the creation of individual images in the style of US yearbook photos. The challenge was first started by prominent users on TikTok and has since spread to Instagram and other areas of daily life.
Related to the „90s Yearbook Challenge“ are, among others, the „Wrong Shoe Theory“ and the „Kevin James Memes“. The „Wrong Shoe Theory“ is basically about making one’s individual outfit really perfect by supposedly mismatching shoes. On the other hand, the „Kevin James Meme“ is currently a popular meme for creating individual posts in which the meme is provided with one’s own slogans and spread on social media. Both alternatives are also currently popular social media trends.