Squid Game, NFT, astrology, Bubble pop: the seven “trends” of 2021

The Tsunami Squid Game

The year 2021 will have marked the triumph of South Korean popular culture. A dynamic embodied by the considerable success of the “Squid Game” series, which managed the feat of making the biggest start of a series on the Netflix platform, being viewed by more than 111 million fewer subscribers. four weeks. The success lies partly in its scenario: 456 protagonists are called upon to compete in children’s games like 1, 2, 3 sun. Their goal: to win a sum of 45.6 billion won, or 33 million euros. At the end: only one winner, the other competitors are cruelly killed.

READ ALSO : “Squid Game” on Netflix: the five reasons for a global triumph

Particularly successful from an aesthetic point of view, the series is supposed to feature “the extreme competition that is life”, according to its director Hwang Dong-hyuk. A satire of capitalism, “Squid Game” nevertheless aroused concern in primary schools, where some children would have ventured to reproduce violent scenes seen on Netflix. A phenomenon.

Did you say NFT?

NFT: this is the latest fashionable English acronym for “Non-fungible token”. Behind this obscure term, one must imagine a virtual property certificate that serves to monetize an immaterial good. This is how the first SMS in history was sold for 107,000 euros on December 21 at an auction organized by the Aguttes house in France. Since the SMS does not exist physically, the buyer acquired an NFT, a certificate of ownership therefore, hosted on a blockchain, a kind of digital account book. These NFTs only exist in limited edition or are unique, which leads to speculation.

READ ALSO : Virtual certificates of ownership: are NFTs the next digital revolution?

Thus, these NFTs are poised to revolutionize the art market. Once marginal, the practice has exploded. No less than 10 billion transactions were recorded by the Ethereum blockchain this year, compared to only 70 million in 2020. A boom that benefits certain artists of a new genre. Since March, digital artist Beeple has held the record for the most expensive NFT in the world. His work Everydays: The First 5,000 Days sold at auction for $69.3 million. It is a sort of digital collage of 5,000 drawings and animations. After art, NFTs are poised to seduce new sectors such as finance, real estate or luxury.

De-stress with a bubble pop

Who hasn’t played bubble wrap popping? A simple and de-stressing little pleasure, which has become a real game in the form of Bubble pop. It is a colored silicone plate, with bubbles to push back by pressing on it, which causes a small bursting sound – a “Pop” therefore.


The toy is originally aimed at young children, who can use it to stimulate their fine motor skills. It has been widely popularized this year through TikTok, the popular social network for teenagers, which in 2021 passed the one billion user mark. Adults have also seized on it for its soothing virtues in this period of stress.

Ultracrepidarianism, the word of the year

Obscure, the term “ultracrepidarianism” may mean nothing to you. However, it refers to a very widespread behavior in these times of pandemic. That which consists in giving its opinion on subjects on which one has no competence. Popularized this year in particular by the philosopher and physicist Etienne Klein, the term comes from an ancient Latin phrase: “Sutor, ne supra crepidam”.

In other words “Cobbler, stick to your sandal”. A phrase reported by Pliny the Elder in the first century of our era in his Natural History. The phenomenon was later described by two American psychologists: David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who in 1999 made the hypothesis already formulated by Darwin that “Ignorance engenders self-confidence more frequently than does knowledge. “. Particularly current.

Upcycling or recycling 2.0

No longer say recycling but “upcycling”, or in French “surcyclage”. A term born in the mouth of a German architect, Reiner Pilz, at the end of the 1990s. It is a question of going beyond traditional recycling to give a new, more upscale life to an object, often very far from its use. initial. The production of added value is at the heart of this approach, which consists, for example, of making luxury bags with inner tubes from bicycles.

READ ALSO : In the kitchen, the bathroom or the dressing room: the Stakhanovists of recycling

Formerly marginal, the practice has greatly developed this year with the growing appeal of “doing it yourself”. On TikTok, the hashtag #upcycling currently records nearly 6 billion views. And the craze affects in particular the fashion sector. In some department stores like Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, entire spaces are now devoted to upcycling and second-hand, which could be what ready-to-wear was at the beginning of the 20th century. A revolution ?

The boom in astrology

Formerly reserved for the last pages of newspapers, astrology has been renewed to address the youngest, who are more and more sensitive to this form of esotericism. On Instagram, astrology accounts abound and apps like Co-Star promise a personalized horoscope every day to hundreds of thousands of users, who can also check their partner’s astral compatibility. Astrology, whose scientificity has never been proven, has the wind in its sails. According to an Ifop poll for Current wife published at the end of 2020, 48% of 18-24 year olds believe in the explanation of characters by astrology, like 40% of French people, 8 points more than twenty years ago.

READ ALSO : Why astrology is gaining ground among young people and in the feminist sphere

A particularly marked trend among women, while a part of astrology now presents itself as a female emancipation tool », by bringing the promise of a form of spirituality to feminism. Following the trend of “witches”, women’s magazines are rolling out the red carpet to self-proclaimed feminist astrologers. A craze that Louise Jussian, who carried out the study for Ifop and Current wifeexplained to Marianne by the existence of a spiritual need “that traditional religions can no longer fill”. “The great monotheistic religions no longer meet the expectations of young people, who today are inclusive, too “woke” for cults deemed to be conservative, sexist or homophobic in particular”she analyzed.

The unprecedented echo of the thesis of the great replacement

This is the keystone of the success met by the polemicist Eric Zemmour, who became a candidate for the next presidential election. Never has the theme of the “great replacement” met with so much echo. Originally, this theory was developed by the writer Renaud Camus in 2010. The latter assumed the existence in France of a project to replace the white population with non-European immigrants.

Hammered by Zemmour on the television sets that made him famous, the concept has exceeded the marginal audience of its beginnings. The candidate of the new Reconquête party even hopes to make it the debate in the presidential election, by trying to get his competitors to position themselves on the question of “survival of the French people”, his mantra. A success analyzed by Yann Raison du Cleuziou, lecturer in political science at the University of Bordeaux in Marianne : “ If the national populism of a Zemmour can have so much resonance in public opinion, it is because it appears to convey an authentically democratic aspiration: the restoration of the capacity of a people identified with a cultural majority to to lay down the law and to refuse the changes that cultural minorities would like to impose on it. Whatever becomes of Éric Zemmour’s candidacy, it is necessary to measure the depth of the concerns and the tendencies that carry it. »

READ ALSO : Catholic right and Zemmour: “the feeling of a threatened minority legitimizes a xenophobic shift”

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Squid Game, NFT, astrology, Bubble pop: the seven “trends” of 2021

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