“Lucky girl syndrome” is the latest trend taking over TikTok, and its devotees believe affirmations are the key to a successful – and lucky – life.
Wondering what it’s all about – and whether it’s time you started manifesting? Read on.
What is the lucky girl syndrome trend?
Lucky girl syndrome is a form of manifestation – or thinking your dreams into reality.
It involves people reciting daily affirmations in the belief they will bring good fortune into their lives.
It’s blown up on TikTok, where the #LuckyGirlSyndrome hashtag has racked up more than 130 million views.
People post videos of their affirmations along the lines of “I am so lucky”, “everything just works out for me” and “I always get want I want”, and describe how lucky girl syndrome has changed their lives.
What does being a lucky girl actually mean?
Lucky girls get their own way – traffic lights go green, job opportunities open up, the fully booked restaurant has a miraculous opening.
TikTok is brimming with videos of young women sharing the luck they’ve had after adopting the affirmations – with many claiming they were originally sceptical it would work.
In one video, a woman describes getting an iPhone and Apple Watch for $18 after a spontaneous decision to join a gym led her to a deal that was about to expire.
In another, someone says their husband won a $900 sports bet after they had been saying the manifestations for a day.
Is there a rational explanation for this?
Dr Carolyne Keenan, a psychologist, told the BBC that lucky girl syndrome ties in with confirmation bias – the tendency to process information by identifying things that are consistent with your existing beliefs. You remember the times things did work out in your favour, and overlook the times they didn’t.
She voiced concern about the downsides of the assumption that you can make your own luck.
“There are going to be, unfortunately, some situations in life that we are not able to manifest and think our way out of,” she said.
“I would be concerned about people being in situations where maybe that’s not going to be an effective strategy.”
She also pointed out that putting things down to luck can overlook the hard work that goes into them.
What are the criticisms of lucky girl syndrome?
As well as overlooking hard work, lucky girl syndrome does not account for privilege.
Most of the accounts posting their lucky girl success stories are from young, white, able-bodied women.
The trend has come under fire from people who say it is inherently racist and ableist as it works on the assumption that anyone can get what they want – when that might not be true for people with systemic oppression in their way.
The other flipside of lucky girl syndrome is the idea that bad luck is your fault, too, which can create anxiety and feelings of shame and defeatism when things don’t go your way.