It was only a matter of time before we started bowing to our food

In 2023, TikTok gave us many gems. We are united while delulu. Many of us enjoy eating rat snacks on our rotten days. And, chances are, you've tried strawberry makeup, blueberry milk manicures, or espresso hair. Gosh, maybe you do all of that at once. But with the new year just around the corner, one viral trend feels like the pinnacle of 2023 chaos: food with bows on it.

It's exactly what it sounds like - pickles, sodas, ice cubes and more, all decked out in silky bows on FYP, totally coquettish for your viewing pleasure. The videos are often paired with a dreamy clip of Lana Del Rey's "Let the Light in," a song about longing that may be one of TikTok's favorite emotions. (#yearning The app has been viewed 59.4 million times.)

Sure, it's a bit ridiculous, but it's also the perfect storm for virality in 2023. Girlhood is dominating this year, thanks in part to Greta Gerwig's Barbie and all the hyper-feminine trends that followed. Girl, it’s time to eat! Rosette! Everything is pink! So what if this Barbie wants to tie her bacon into a bow? Let her live!

When you look at this short-lived phenomenon within the larger scope of this year’s online trends, you’ll see that it makes perfect sense. Food and aesthetics have never been so closely intertwined. "It might have something to do with Hailey Bieber and her famous 'glazed donut' skin," says Bustle's senior lifestyle and beauty editor Rachel Lapidos. "Since then, BeautyTok trends have become vaguely food-themed trends; I can't imagine a hair color or makeup look being popular right now if it wasn't named after something edible."

Bows dominate the 2023 fashion world . Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Additionally, according to Bustle fashion writer Alyssa Lapid, bows dominated the fashion world this year and are sure to remain popular in 2024. A natural progression,” she said, citing designers such as Sandy Liang and Simone Rocha as well as designers such as Sofia Richie and Julia Fox A-list celebrities have made this accessory popular: “Dress, bags, heels, hair, even faces – everything is affected by ribbons. "

In an age where everything is about "core," it's only a matter of time before gourmet beauty trends cross paths with so many — even if it does happen. What began as a self-aware hyperbolic visualization of how far each trend has gone has resonated both humorously and deeply with TikTok users.

This Taco Bell meal with a bow is for all of us. TikTok/@lotsobear555

“I love it when coquettish girls put bows on everything, it’s like a little joke and I absolutely love that,” said TikTok user @lotsobear555, whose video of Taco Bell wearing a bow has 3.5 million views. "[I've always] added bows to my outfits, purse, phone and apartment, so when I first saw this trend I thought 'This is me.'"

User @folklaurlover, whose video of macaroni and cheese with a pink bow has 4.1 million views, felt seen in the comments section. "I was surprised when everyone started commenting things like 'This is me' or 'This is me if you care' because that's exactly what I was thinking when I posted it," they tell Bustle . "Making something that wouldn't normally be cute and flirty makes everything more fun."

Almost all videos that fall into this category have the same top comments. "I" or "This is me, if you care." Because even if you're wearing your prettiest manicure or a bow-tie outfit, aren't you just a Flamin' Hot Cheetos or a side of Wingstop Ranch at heart?

Perhaps most importantly, this trend reflects users' desire for simplicity. After all, being a burrito wearing a little pink bow seems like a pretty glorious existence, free of earthly hassles like sorting laundry by color and filing taxes.