Hypnosis, subliminal messaging and “law of attraction” videos have long had a home on YouTube. But within the last year, the aesthetic has changed: The trippy tie-dye graphics, akin to a blacklight poster you’d find at Spencer’s, have been replaced with sparkly, Instagram-filtered images of tiny waists and full lips. The goals of these subliminals no longer pertain to expanding one’s place within the universe, but are instead planted firmly within material reality: “OVERNIGHT become tall,” “get freckles” and “‘anime tiddies’ bigger breasts” are just a sampling of some of the subliminal titles uploaded within recent months.
Irlane Saint-Cyr, a 19-year-old from Atlanta also known as Eggtopia, is a popular creator of these types of videos, including the “anime tiddies” one. Though she only began uploading subliminals two months ago, she’s amassed nearly 6.5 million views. “I know upon first glance, my channel, the content I post and other subliminal-related channels can be a little confusing and seem really hard to believe, but once you get a grasp of what subliminals are and how they work, they can honestly be really life-changing,” she says.
The majority of her subliminal videos are under five minutes in length and sound like slowed and down-tuned versions of songs, layered over gentle waterfall sounds and other light beats, similar to the type of tracks played on “lo-fi hip hop beats to study to” playlists. But beneath these songs, Saint-Cyr says, are powerful messages. “You simply take a few different types of affirmations, write them out in a text document and speak them,” she explains. “This can be done by recording your own voice, or with a text-to-speech application. I personally use the latter. Once I have the affirmations typed up and written, I put them into my video editor and layer music over top of them.”
In the description for “anime tiddies,” Saint-Cyr links to a public Google Doc which lists the “benefits” of the messaging within the video. “Breasts that emulate the biggest, juiciest, plumpest looking anime boobs, have the biggest and most beautiful breasts in all of existence, everyone is in love with your extremely attractive and beautiful large breasts,” the document states.
“The key to subliminals is to not hear the actual affirmations, so that there’s no room for the conscious mind to critically or logically analyze them, and possibly deflect them,” she says. “Every person who makes these makes them differently, but I personally like to speed up and repeat my affirmations numerous times.
The effectiveness of these videos is obviously subjective — like the law of attraction more broadly, it’s up to the individual to believe the effects are true. Saint-Cyr says she’s understanding of the skepticism. “I too thought it was too good to be true when I first stumbled upon them,” she tells me. “Simply put, these physical-appearance related subliminals are a product of the mind listening to the body — something that has always happened. If you’re listening to a subliminal that has affirmations telling you, ‘I have the most toned six-pack of all time, I have the slimmest waistline in all of existence, etc.,’ it’ll become something you actually believe.”
According to Saint-Cyr, the idea isn’t simply that listening to these videos will yield a six-pack by themselves — the messaging is also intended to help encourage you to workout or eat differently. “You’re quite literally rewiring your brain and thought processes on these concepts to change your opinions on them,” she says. “Subliminals work, but putting in the work is going to help push these results even further.”
Saint-Cyr doesn’t believe subliminals are for everyone, though. “If you feel like they would be of no use to you and you’re fully aware of your own capabilities,” she says, then they won’t work for you. “But if you want to change your mindset on concepts and release limiting thoughts that could be keeping you from bringing your desires to life, you should use subliminals.”
While these videos might be dubious in that they’re intended to yield specific standards of beauty without being able to prove results, they’re also among the more innocent examples of the self-help and beauty advice available on YouTube. Unlike “what I eat in a day” videos promoting eating disorders, or Brazilian Butt Lift explainers, subliminals don’t actually offer any direct advice. In fact, they don’t even contain spoken words at all — just inaudible affirmations, told directly to your subconscious.
Whether or not it pays attention is up to you.