A recent TikTok trend has awakened the sleeping spirit of the jejemons of yesterday. In the said TikTok trend, those who went through a jejemon phase in their lives shared photos from the said era. And, as a proud jejemon myself, I could not help but scream at how accurate those photos were.
For those who do not know, have forgotten, or were just living under the rock during the early 2010s, Jejemon is a popular culture phenomenon here in the Philippines. It traces its origin in the hipster or hip-hop culture and has influenced different lifestyle choices, such as language and fashion. So, to participate in the said throwback, here are some j3jE things that definitely solidified the j3jEmØn experience.
You are not a full-blown jejemon if you have not sent a group message or a GM. Group message, from its name, is literally sending text messages on almost your entire phone contact list. This text messaging experience will not be complete without joining any text clans. Text clans are comparable to today’s social media groups. Complete with a hierarchy of members, text clans are groups established solely for the purpose of having people you can interact with and exchange text messages.
The text messages we exchanged during the jejemon era have their own writing style. Dubbed the jeje language, these messages combine characters from the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals, and other special characters. The typing style in the jeje language also combines alternate capitalization, rearranging letters in words, and usages of unnecessary letters like H, X, and Z.
d1s i$ 4 v3rY b@s1c jEj3-mEsS4g3, bU+ tH1s iS LiT3r4LLy h0w 1 tYp3d dUr1nG mY j3jEm0n eR4,,, !!
If you can read that, congratulations, the jeje blood have never left you! But, if you can not read it, let me translate it for you: “This is a very basic jeje-message, but this is literally how I typed during my jejemon era!”
Statement Shirts and Varsity Jackets
Today’s cropped tops and aesthetic outfits could never level up to how widespread statements shirts and varsity jackets were during the jejemon era. Among every statement shirt, the Never Give Up shirt is probably the most iconic of them all, and every jejemon owns one of them. You know someone has reached their full jejemon potential if they have once donned a varsity jacket, never give up tee shirt, jogger pants, and high-cut shoes.
An outfit will not be complete without the accessories that go with it. The jejemon era also had its fair share of iconic accessories, such as the silicone bracelets known as ballers, Domo bags, flat brim cap or jeje cap, and Hello Kitty eyeglasses. These accessories used to be a status symbol, and I remember saving up my very little allowance just to own a few and be branded as one of the cool kids!
The jejemon era somehow kickstarted the selfie addiction that we all fell into. But unlike today when we all take simple selfies and find the basic filters that will match them, the selfies during the jejemon era were a bit over the top. The duck face and the peace sign are the go-to poses of selfie addicts during this era. And even though we are certain we looked cute doing them before, some get a slight feeling of embarrassment when viewing these pictures now.
The On-Repeat Songs
The jejemon phase did not just touch personal styles; it also influenced music choices. And there are at least 10 songs that every former jejemon knows by heart. Most of the songs famous during the jeje era either belong to the rap or hip-hop genre. The catch, however, is that most of those songs talk about love experiences, and most jejemons, including me, have never experienced love yet during its prime era! So the reason why we can relate to that song to the core still confuses me.
Jejemon era was indeed a ride to experience. And although some of us would rather not relive it to avoid getting cringed, we cannot deny that it holds a colorful time in our life when we are on a journey to find interests that would suit us.
Darlene, better known as Da, is currently a broadcasting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila. Her interests lie in K-pop, books, and coffee. With living an *extra* life in mind, she aspires to change the world for the better with the same grace and grandeur as Legally Blonde's Elle Woods.