The girls are looking our for themselves this year and all the rest. Whether it’s participating in a collective energy of self-love, or practicing daily rituals and purposely ignoring that noncommittal side boo. Women on social media are rallying together to take their power back from people and situations that are just no longer serving them. What originally started on Tiktok in February later turned into a wide coalition of women claiming this year as the year of the “villain era”. This can take form in many ways, but mainly addresses prioritizing yourself over anything else. “Proliferated by TikToker @padzdey, the term villain era isn’t as dark or ominous as the name might suggest, but refers to a shift in a person’s priorities as they reject the societal pressure to always play nice,” said Refinery 29. “ Now, hear us out. Being nice can be positive, and kindness never goes astray. But where it becomes a problem is when we start disregarding our own needs and feeling stifled.” 

@padzdey we’re all villains? #villainera #peoplepleaser #selfcare ♬ in luv w a version of a person – :):)

A woman’s ‘villain era’ is positive, not negative.


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A woman’s villain era, simply put, is a time of taking your energy back from people and situations that are set out to make you feel less than or even deplete your energy. Oftentimes, women, in particular, are put on a pedestal to constantly adhere to the needs of others, which has often been a never-ending cycle of putting themselves last. In addition, women are viewed as the ones to make it all happen. To do the cooking, the cleaning, the caregiving, and to invest endless hours of working to simply make ends meet. This draining societal routine has often led women to feel depleted, overwhelmed, and even depressed.

“Being nice can be positive, and kindness never goes astray. But where it becomes a problem is when we start disregarding our own needs and feeling stifled. The emotional labor of keeping everyone around you satisfied is the ultimate energy drain. And whether it’s with friends, family, or in the workplace, the burden of being pleasant and polite, often leaves us (particularly women and marginalized people) feeling exhausted, all for the sake of keeping up with the pressure we’ve imposed upon ourselves. Worse still, this often sets a precedent for what others can expect of us,” said Refinery29.


A woman’s ‘villain era’ allows them to assert healthy boundaries.


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Asserting healthy boundaries can be difficult, especially when it comes to the constant societal pressure to adhere to all of the tasks that are calling your attention. And though our daily tasks and duties are important, it’s just as equally important that you prioritize yourself in the process.  We’ve all heard the saying “how can we love others if we can’t love ourselves?” and in this case, asserting healthy boundaries with others is in fact an act of self-love. Tik Tok influencer @padzdey started the trend over a video that talks about women prioritizing themselves and the negative effects of people-pleasing tendencies. “You’re probably entering your villain era right now,” said @Padzdey. “ I think for a lot of us chronic people-pleasers are villain era is literally just us expressing our boundaries and clearly communicating our needs and prioritizing ourselves often for the first time.”

Why we stan the ‘villain era.’

We absolutely stan the villain era because it allows for women to really home in on self-love rather than focusing on the need to please other people and to accommodate their needs all of the time. Taking our power back, regardless of it that upsets others, is a sacrifice we’re willing to make, as many people will try to make you feel bad for not constantly adhering to their needs or their manipulative tendencies.


“I think what unfortunately happens is that when you’re a people-pleaser, [the change] isn’t often well received by the people around you because it is such a drastic change in your behavior,” she explains. “Folks around you might start to feel like they aren’t getting the same you that they used to get out of the relationship and as though their needs aren’t being met.”

Asserting your power and claiming your villain era, does not mean turning into Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” it’s simply a time that allows you to focus on giving yourself all of the basic needs that are required to make you happy, and we are here for it.