What does latest TikTok trend 'musty mean?'

Are YOU clean or musty? TikTok trend sees users ask people to rate their appearance on whether they look like they’ve ‘not showered for days’ (and being beautiful won’t save you!)

  • Social media users are using the word ‘musty’ to insult celebrities on the app  
  • Trend has evolved into users guessing whether another is ‘dirty or unhygienic’ 
  • Users post videos of themselves and ask others to assess how clean they look
  • Sometimes it feels near impossible to keep up with social media trends, and this bizarre new phrase is sure to leave many internet users scratching their heads. 

    The word ‘musty’ was once used to describe something old with a stale smell, however has now been re-invented by TikTok users from around the world to mean a person who appears unhygienic or dirty. 

    It appears to have emerged last year with several social media inundating some celebrities with comments calling them ‘musty’ because they have a grungy style or looked sweaty and tired during a performance. 

    The hashtag has reached nearly 500,000 views and naturally users have used the phrase to create a viral challenge tasking other users to tell them if they ‘look musty or not’. 

    Musty is being used on the app to describe somebody who look as though they are unclean, dishevelled or have a bad smell. One user (pictured) poked fun at the bizarre trend, joking she's adopting the 'Musty girl aesthetic'

    Musty is being used on the app to describe somebody who look as though they are unclean, dishevelled or have a bad smell. One user (pictured) poked fun at the bizarre trend, joking she’s adopting the ‘Musty girl aesthetic’

    Kyeeshia, from Manchester, was met with a host of bizarre comments when she posted a clip of herself - with several saying that she was both beautiful and 'musty'

     Kyeeshia, from Manchester, was met with a host of bizarre comments when she posted a clip of herself – with several saying that she was both beautiful and ‘musty’

    Musty is being used on the app to describe somebody who look as though they are unclean, dishevelled or have a bad smell. 

    The phrase is defined on Urban Dictionary, an online collection of slang word definitions, as a ‘person who smells like they haven’t showered in days’ or a gross, or ‘a foul odour coming from someone’.  

    The insult has been hurled at many celebrities on the app, including British indie rock singer Yungblud who was branded ‘musty’ after a video of him spitting his beer off stage during a performance went viral.  

    YouTuber Bryce Hall was dubbed ‘musty’ for growing a mullet while other A-listers who have been dubbed ‘musty’ by TikTok users include Ed Sheeran, Post Malone and Megan Fox’s rapper boyfriend Machine Gun Kelly. 

    One viral trend sees TikTok users posting a short clip of themselves and asking others to reveal whether they appear to be 'musty' or not. Pictured, comments on a video asking if a user is 'musty'

    One viral trend sees TikTok users posting a short clip of themselves and asking others to reveal whether they appear to be ‘musty’ or not. Pictured, comments on a video asking if a user is ‘musty’ 

    And while the likes of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian have brought a grungier style into the mainstream after announcing their relationships with Travis Barker and Pete Davidson –  users have also deployed the insult on celebs who are simply coming back from a gym session. 

    American singer singer Dixie D’Amelio, 20, burst into tears on her reality show The D’Amelio Show after trolls commented calling her ‘musty’ on a video of her looking sweaty following a workout.  

    One viral trend sees TikTok users posting a short clip of themselves and asking others to reveal whether they appear to be ‘musty’ or not.   

    Kourtney Karfashion and her fiance Travis Barker have brought a grungier style mainstram, which may account for the musty trend on TikTok

    Kourtney Karfashion and her fiance Travis Barker have brought a grungier style mainstram, which may account for the musty trend on TikTok 

    The trend started with celebrities being branded musty for their appearance, notably Megan Fox's beau Machine Gun Kelly

    The trend started with celebrities being branded musty for their appearance, notably Megan Fox’s beau Machine Gun Kelly 

    Kyeeshia, from Manchester, was met with a host of bizarre comments when she posted a clip of herself – with several saying that she was both beautiful and ‘musty’. 

    Clean but low-key musty, said one user while another agreed: ‘Musty. You’re still beautiful you just give me musty vibes.’

    ‘Ur so pretty but you give me musty vibes’, commented a third. 

    TikTok user Georgia asked if she was 'musty' and was met with comments saying she 'definitely looked clean'

    TikTok user Georgia asked if she was ‘musty’ and was met with comments saying she ‘definitely looked clean’

    Several users have poked fun at the bizarre trend, joking they’re adopting the ‘Musty girl aesthetic’ and sharing videos with tags like mustygirlsummer – but others have dubbed the trend ‘problematic’.  

    One user said they wouldn’t take part in the trend because the majority of users who are dubbed ‘musty’ are usually non-white users, people with acne or bad skin and darker skin and hair textures. 

    ‘Sorry but i’m so tired of this whole “do I look musty” or “what do I small like trend” because it’s always the people with yellower skin tones or acne and dark circles or skin and hair textures getting told they look musty and smell,’ wrote one user.     

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