Remember the tiny buckets of slime that you used to buy from your school bookshop? Well, they are back.
What’s different now is they do not come in red, green and blue. Oh no, the new and improved slime comes in a variety of colors and textures and it has taken the Internet by storm.
Videos of people playing with the gooey substance have recently sprung up all over social media feeds around the world. These clips usually show a pair of well-manicured hands sinking into a tub of slime, pressing and shaping it to produce loud popping and smacking sounds. Some people (or ‘slimers’ as they’d like to be called) also add decorative elements such as beads, glitter, sequins and Styrofoam balls to create different sounds and make the slimy material more aesthetically pleasing.
One of the most popular platforms for slime videos is Instagram. A simple search on the photo-sharing app revealed that there are currently more than 6 million posts with the hashtag ‘#slime’. There are also video tutorials on YouTube that teach others how they can use ingredients like glue, baking soda and contact lens solution to create slime at home.
Originally started by Thai teens last summer, the worldwide slime craze has also caught on among young Singaporeans. In fact, some youths here are already cashing in on this trend by setting up online shops to sell their homemade slime.
Ang Jia Xin, 14, who is known as ‘bobbasliime’ to her customers, got into the trend after watching videos of the gooey toy on YouTube and started selling slime on Instagram and Carousell about a year ago.
“I wanted to set up (an online shop) because there’s no point in making so much (slime) and then I don’t sell it,” she said. “So I thought of sharing my joy of making slime with everybody and letting them experience slime as well.”
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Jia Xin also puts her slime creations up for sale in display lockers that she has rented at 5 HAKO outlets across the island. Occasionally, she takes part in bazaars that are specifically for selling slime.
The Secondary 2 student estimates that she makes around $3,000 a month selling slime. The teen has also amassed more than 26,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly uploads clips of her slime creations. Her most popular video, which shows her mixing clear slime with glitter and a sheet of metallic foil, has garnered more than 65,000 views to date.
Germaine Yeo is also another youth who has set up her own slime business. The 20-year-old, who is currently pursuing a Higher Nitec in events management, started a shop called ‘petitesliimes’ on Carousell last March. She also keeps an Instagram account with the same name to promote her slime pieces.
Germaine reckoned that she earns a monthly profit of around $250 and noted that she has regular customers who would spend up to $150 in a single transaction.
What is so fascinating about slime?
Some say it is because slime can trigger what is known as an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) – a tingling sensation that the body experiences (mostly in the head and neck regions) in response to certain sounds and visuals.
However, according to Geraldine Tan, principal psychologist at The Therapy Room, the phenomenon is not heavily backed with research, with only 1 study done on it so far.
On why she thinks slime is gaining so much popularity among young people, Ms Tan said that it is because slime helps reduce stress levels since it can create “very consistent, repetitive and slow movements that calm the senses”.
Indeed, stress relief seems to be the main reason why youths are now sticking their hands into blobs of goo or watching others do it through their screens.
Avelynn Lye, 20, who buys and plays with slime, said: “It’s like a stress relief to me. Once, I was facing a lot of stress so I went onto Instagram and saw (clips of) people playing with slime. It was very satisfying.”
Well, stress relieving or just plain visually attractive, it looks like the slime trend will be here for a while.