Investigating Instagram’s Newest Craze: Soap Cutting

Like many teens, I have my daily ritual of scrolling through Instagram. I love catching up with my friends, watching funny videos,  and seeing what the newest viral trend is; and normally, I don’t take a second look at what I’m watching. However, recently, videos of people cutting soap – yes, slicing through soap – caught my attention.

I found myself mesmerized, before I asked myself, “What is this?” From what I’ve seen, soap cutting is a form of ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

According to Urban Dictionary, “The sole purpose of ASMR is to relax people.”

It gives many people chills or a tingling sensation; however, for some, it’s more than just a relaxing video. Nazish, 25, is a creator of these videos and has more than 80,000 followers on Instagram (asmr.crackle).  According to The Guardian, her account began “as a personal form of art therapy to relieve my own anxiety and insomnia.”  It is, she says, “An alternative form to white noise.”

The most common types of ASMR include whispering, mouth noises, tapping on glass, and slime. But now, soap cutting is becoming increasingly popular.

The most common type of soap cutting is just slicing through a bar of soap, but there actually many different techniques to the way the soap is cut.  Many videos create “soap curls” and then other videos crush these curls for a satisfying crunch.

The Guardian says that many soap cutters, including Nazish, “recycle, reuse, and repurpose” the soap as much as they can.

To get to the bottom of the soap craze, I knew that I had to go to the source of the videos. I interviewed, who posts these soap videos daily.

She told me that she started off her account by posting content from other accounts a little over two months ago, on April 30th 2018. Recently, she began recording videos of herself cutting soap. With over 10,500 followers, I was surprised to hear that she was able to gain so much following in such a little amount of time.

When asked why soap cutting is becoming so popular, replied, “It’s something that people can mindlessly watch and relax to. The sounds and looks of soap cutting as a whole are very satisfying.”

And I have to say, while I was confused by the soap craze at first, I couldn’t help but keep watching.

As for when this trend will end, doesn’t think the end is near. “I think it will remain popular for a while,” she says. According to ASMR University, the ASMR community has been around since 2009, and as a subdivision of ASMR, soap cutting may be around for a while.

(This blog post was written in the beginning of July 2018)

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