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“Mewing” is the new trend on Tik Tok that has teachers worried

“Mewing” is the new trend on Tik Tok that has teachers worried

“Meowing,” which involves pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth, is said to achieve a more prominent chin and improve facial aesthetics, and has become a trend on TikTok among teenagers.

Although this technique, named after British orthodontist John Mew, lacks sufficient scientific verification, this has not stopped it from gaining popularity on social networks for months, where many confirm its benefits.

However, while it may seem like a harmless viral trend, some school teachers say that jowls have turned from a quick, non-surgical solution to combating double chins into a harmful habit. For classrooms.

“Respect”

Last month, American high school teacher Teresa Newman said in a video on TikTok that some students who chose to practice the technique were misusing it.

The problem is that when they are asked to participate or speak, they don't, arguing that they are in the middle of said action and prefer not to be interrupted.

They put their fingers over their mouths and jaws as a sign that they don't want to say anything or are interested in engaging in conversation.

“They use it as a way to disrespect teachers (…) It allows them not to take responsibility for what is being asked of them. It's a strategy to avoid participating in class,” he opines.

Newman, who teaches music, says that even if children take it as a game, it hurts the teaching profession and disrupts the learning process.

In this sense, he expressed his frustration on the matter, even suggesting that 'mewing' might be a sufficient reason for resignation. His testimony has already garnered more than 7 million views and nearly 11,000 comments on TikTok.

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In a conversation with BuzzFeed, Teresa pointed out that managing behaviors and connecting with students is more difficult now than it was before 2020, and that it has more to do with social networks than the pandemic.

In this context, he suggests that other teachers face similar situations without showing anger or frustration because these are the reactions students expect.

A teenage thing?

Newman was not the only author to notice this phenomenon.

A few days ago, special educator Philip Lindsay commented that the trend seemed to be very popular among teenagers at his school, who were using it to “stop” their teachers or parents.

However, Lindsay, unlike Newman, takes the issue more calmly. He advises his colleagues that they can 'meow' to their students, but in their spare time, preferably outside the classroom.

Liz Nissim-Matheis, a clinical and school psychologist, believes this behavior is not only disrespectful to teachers, but also damaging to self-esteem if practiced between two students.

“Being treated like that only serves to diminish what little sense of self-worth a teenager might have,” he says.

Meanwhile, New Jersey educator and activist Nicholas Ferroni has a different view.

He says that if any of his students try to challenge his authority by 'meowing', he seizes the moment to teach them a lesson in social etiquette.

Furthermore, it emphasizes that the trends and challenges of social networks adopted by young people are linked to the times in which they live.

“I would never take something like that too seriously because there are so many ways to disrespect them (…) They are teenagers; they have to do things that we don't understand or that we don't know about,” he says.

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