Can Someone Please Explain The Mannequin Challenge?
Internet sensations are fleeting, to say the least.
With each one, though, its virality is undeniable. And right now, the tweetable, must-watch video trend is the Mannequin Challenge.
Not sure what exactly that entails? Fear not, here's a rundown.
People stand still. That's the short version, but really each clip consists of people remaining completely motionless for about a minute as the camera winds its way through the area. Oh, and as this is happening Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" serves as a musical backdrop. ( Even Paul McCartney took the challenge.)
The effect looks as if someone pressed pause during a movie as people liken themselves to mannequins placed in various positions. Among these poses you'll find people talking on the phone stopped midsentence, people with a water bottle inches away from their lips as they get ready to take a sip and some paused just before their hands meet in a high-five. It's a bit reminiscent of Madonna's hit "Vogue," where a key point is to "strike a pose." That said, the possibilities are truly endless for these frozen positions — leaving a lot of room for creativity.
So that's the Mannequin Challenge (not to be confused with mannequin dancing), but what prompted it and what's the challenge?
Essentially, there is no true challenge here because it's not a contest (or something for a cause, like the Ice Bucket Challenge). There are no winners and losers. One group might call out another, prompting them to compose their own video, but there's no judge proclaiming a victor. These "challenges" have been happening for awhile with the Running Man Challenge, the Cheerio Challenge and trends like planking, Silento's Whip/Nae Nae dance and dabbing.
As to why it's happening now — that answer is less clear. The song used in the videos isn't new. Then of course the last question is where did this originate?
According to Twitter's history it all started with this video from user @pvrity___ where a group of high school friends from Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Fla., created the first video.
#manequinchallenge SHARE‼️ RT‼️ pic.twitter.com/k1BqR6iZ1p— yani🦋 (@pvrity___) October 26, 2016
From that point on, the people of the Internet helped it spread. From football teams to cheer squads to groups of friends, and even Hillary Clinton's staff during happier times, there are now plenty to watch if you need a distraction. Here are just a few.
Like Black Beatles in the City 🎶@RaeSremmurd #MannequinChallenge 🐂🏈 pic.twitter.com/NYkaWxFtPr— Antwuan Davis® (@Mr_getPAID) November 4, 2016
Don't stand still. Vote today: https://t.co/jfd3CXLD1s #ElectionDay #MannequinChallenge pic.twitter.com/4KAv2zu0rd— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 8, 2016
As said, this isn't really a competition, but if it were, I'm feline like this one would win.
Nah... the cat got me over here in tears😭😭😭😂 #mannequinchallenge https://t.co/pATvpMitNs— ♛ 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐨𝐨𝐤. SDC & JAH forever (@CookTheGreat) November 6, 2016
One last thing. The Mannequin Challenge might only be a few weeks old, but there's already another Internet rabbit hole for you to go down. Go ahead and search #AndysComing. Enjoy.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.