From #yetibutts to #beerposters, and beyond
The timeless allure of cracking a beer and "look[ing] hot on the internet"
Do you remember #yetibutts? Oh man. So back in 2016, SBNation published a company profile on the then-emergent, now-insanely popular cooler brand by Charlotte Wilder, who took particular interest in the cultish, unsanctioned social-media trend of semi-anonymous college girls posing in thongs (or less) atop the covers of the titular ice chests. Wilder:
Like any religion worth its salt, YETI has a fringe flourishing around its edges. The hashtag #yetibutts — as in, YETI coolers meets human bottoms — and social media accounts like @yetibuttsdaily and @yetibutts_official are populated with tens of thousands of user-submitted photos of women photographed from behind. Women wearing little to no clothing as they sit, bare-assed, on these indestructible chests. There’s often a confederate flag, a Trump sign, or a gun involved.
Weird? Yes. A thing? Also yes! At the time, YETI disavowed the trend, and while it’s certainly lost some steam in the intervening half-dozen years, it’s still not entirely dead. A glance at Instagram shows @yetibuttsdaily was posting semi-regularly as recently as late July, and there are plenty of knock-off accounts doing the same. But Instagram is no longer the platform of choice for America’s youths: that would be TikTok, which launched in the U.S. in 2017 and became America’s most-downloaded app a year later. There aren’t many #yetibutts on TikTok, which makes sense considering the canonical format—drinking-age (ish) women in bikinis perched on coolers while facing away from the camera—is pretty static, and not ideal for short-form video. But! What TikTok lacks in #yetibutts, it made up for in spades last summer with the Beer Poster Challenge, a swimsuit-centric trend that swept the platform last summer and has improbably stuck around for a second season.
For the uninitiated, a quick primer. To make a #beerposter, a user—typically a drinking-age (ish) girl—takes a photo of themselves drinking a specific brand of beer, then uses a third-party photo-editing app to make it look like a branded ad by super-imposing that brand’s logo, wordmark, etc. around them in the frame. Then they film a front-facing lead-in video of themselves, set it to music (usually AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”) and reveal the doctored #beerposter on the ultimate beat. For example: