Writer: Farah Raafat
Editor: Ahmed Ashry
“Quarantine was not that bad” used to be something I say to make myself feel better about the time “wasted” from my teenage years. But as it turns out, it actually was pretty good! Here are 15 2020 trends that helped me survive quarantine and that I’ll be holding on to even after the pandemic finally comes to an end:
1. Virtual ANYTHING!
The Internet has been the blessing of 2020. From opera performances, to live concerts of our favorite bands, to MUNs, to online book discussions, the Internet literally took up arms against boredom! Even museums and international heritage sites started offering virtual tours. Therapy became more accessible than ever. Many celebrities started releasing podcasts. And all of a sudden, there was something for everyone on the internet! And we really hope this extraordinary variety keeps growing exponentially.
2. Online Workouts
I was going to combine this point with the previous one but I noticed how much of an essential role it played in our lives this year and decided to give it a little more appreciation. Live-streamed workouts have been one of the most entertaining, beneficial, and mood-lifting activities of 2020. Online trainers have done a terrific job keeping their audience engaged in their workout plans that some had a hard time going back to the gym after they reopened!
3. Bucket Hats — The Uniform of Sahel 2020
I know, I know! We’re all fed up already. But we have to admit that they do look wild! And the best part about them is that they low-key go with everything. They literally give any basic outfit a bold twist. Indeed, it would be a shame to drop this trend for good. All we need to do is start styling them with more creativity this fall and winter (yes, some bucket hats are perfect for winter outfits!). In fact, the leather or vintage hats give some winter outfits a stunning look. Combine bucket hats with elegant coats. Think outside the box and you will revive their hype in a blink of amoment.
4. Fashionable, Creative, Trendy Face Masks
You’re probably wondering why I’m not waiting for the merry moment we get to toss them out… Well, I am. But let’s take a moment to consider how practical they would be in certain circumstances – with or without pandemic: restaurants where chefs and waiters are in direct contact with food; hospitals, when visiting loved ones; airports, where people from different nationalities, immune systems, and vaccinations blend together. And I really think it is great that we now get to somehow protect ourselves without having to resort to those boring, depressive blue masks. So, moral of the story, don’t toss away your colorful masks once/if Corona is over, you will need them!
5. Supporting Local Brands
The Internet has not only facilitated workouts for us during quarantine but also our much-needed summer shopping spree. But this time we went local. And here’s why I think it was definitely worth it: Wearing local pieces feels way more special and unique, as they always have a story and a cause behind them. Shopping from local brands has also allowed them to thrive and thereby expand their production and their ideas! It has motivated the young demographic to start their own brands as well, creating an online shopping community that meets the needs of all Egyptian consumers in a way that has never been seen before!
6. Egyptian-made Card Games
Card games have always been essential in every family or friends gathering. But this year, our casual game nights were redefined when our favorite local card games were launched. Turning “Aflam” into a card game? A card game to test your “afashat aflam” knowledge? Give me more! Even cooler and more creative versions of our average “Truth or Dare”? Yes, please! We honestly couldn’t be more amazed by the incredible minds behind those games and how they managed to make the best out of a global pandemic for themselves business-wise and for us entertainment-wise!
7. The Bird App
I’m obviously not talking about cancel-culture-mutuals-centered-twitter. It’s actually the 86-followers basic side of it that I love. The one that gave us space to just go tweet about those random thought farts that weigh on our mind – without having to manicure and curate every single thing as we all do on Instagram. Twitter allowed us to be ourselves — something that other social media platforms utterly failed at.
Twitter has also been one of the main reasons we as a generation became woke and open to talk about all different kinds of controversial topics. I wouldn’t use the word “educated” in this particular context as I don’t think a social media platform should be our source of education. However, it really opened our eyes to a whole lot of serious and important social and political issues and helped us change some of our ingrained views and actions. So even if the topics under discussion differ by time, I do hope we keep the openness and tolerance we gained this year.
9. Canceling Toxic Diet Culture – Once and for all!
There has been a long-awaited shift in the weight-loss-narrative in 2020. “Say no to starvation diets and crazy nutrition trends” is the slogan of all currently popular nutritionists and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, they promote a lifestyle that is sustainable, flexible, and not suffocating. Because what good will eating cucumbers only for 2 weeks do when you relapse and binge eat everything you’ve been deprived of? And what good will your few lost kilograms do you if your body is not getting the nutrients and calories it literally needs to function?
10. Food creations, Scrumptious Healthy Alternatives, and Air Frying!
If you want to be in a caloric deficit without getting bored, then you gotta get creative! Luckily, we were never out of time during quarantine, which has made spending time in the kitchen, experimenting around with random ingredients, and trying to create healthy alternatives for our favorite dishes some of our favorite getaways! And on a sidenote: if you haven’t bumped into the “air fryer guy” on your for your page already, you seriously need to go binge all of his videos. Literally king of healthy inventions!
11. Speaking of the for you page.. it is hard not to mention TikTok!
I have seen TikTok being compared to Musically, Vine, and various other short-form video platforms. But honestly, I don’t think they are on the same level, not because the app itself is special but rather because the diversity of the content on it is unbelievable! You can be on food TikTok, dance TikTok or even educational TikTok and not a single one of them is comparable to the other yet none of them is 1% boring. So yes, I hope we start cutting our screen time on it because we are devoting way more time to it than we should be, but no, I don’t want the app to die away, not with the huge platform it has given millions of creative creators to share their art, stories, and skills.
12. Teen Magazines and Personal Blogs
Online teen magazines are on the rise and it’s a pretty good indicator of how GenZ is going places because -guess what- they do not revolve around gossip and cosmetics- not anymore! Hopping on to the online magazine/personal blog wave is the perfect chance to spread your ideas and share your knowledge about your passion. And this right here is one of the best feelings in the world. Once you get that first feedback that goes “Oh I relate to that article/post” or “thank you that really helped!”, all the hassle of choosing topics and managing your new team will seem so trivial and insignificant in comparison to the impact you are making. So to anyone who’s got an idea for an online platform, hop on this trend and let’s not make it stop!
13. Influencers Getting Real
It has been a long time coming but we finally got to live the moment influencers got real, shared “real” body pictures, talked about their insecurities, and talked about their downs. During lockdown, it was inevitable for them to show their true colors now that the parties, the big fancy events, the photoshoots, and all those polished distractions were on hold. Even though now everything is back, I have a solid feeling that influencers are going to maintain this new attitude of being authentic on their platform, because why the hassle of pretending when your followers themselves like the real you better?
14. Intimate Small Weddings
Huge weddings have become more of a social duty nowadays. Due to Corona, many couples were forced to do the exact opposite. Now I know that many of those affected were not all happy about it. But my point is: those smaller weddings were not any less fun, they were just not that showy and flashy like the conventional ones. Now the question is: What is the point of a wedding? Is it throwing a colossal party that entertains a maximal amount of people or celebrating a precious moment with our loved ones? There is no right answer to this question but all I want is for the people who picked the latter option not to feel socially obligated to go big with their wedding when an intimate and small-scale celebration would be just perfect for them!
15. The Experimenting Culture
Last but definitely not least: most of us went on a “hobby exploring trip” this year. I have friends who started making sculptures, others who became crochet lovers, and others who learned how to bake from scratch. And the best part is: We embraced the “trial and error” concept! We tried many things and didn’t feel pressured to succeed at every single one of them – and that’s a healthy, constructive mindset right here that I certainly hope never ever dies away!