Two hands playing with yellow slime.
Photo: Andrew Zuckerman

Why Slime Is All the Rage These Days

By Aileen Kwun
October 19, 2019
2 minute read

You may have seen it ooze along three-inch acrylic nails in the latest campaign of Spanish luxury house Loewe, fondled in the hands of Gen Z influencers, and in the ever-multiplying feed of #slime Instagram posts (now 13-plus-million strong and counting)—slime ticks all the boxes for Internet virality. At once aesthetically pleasing, instantly gratifying, and slightly repulsive, it’s become a playful salve for our increasingly angsty, anxiety-riddled modern lives. The easily DIY’ed non-Newtonian goop, made from mixing household ingredients such as glue and detergent, has fashionistas, tweens, and “VSCO girls” alike glomming, bubbling, and popping. The feeling of watching hands sink, stab, and prod into a fluorescent blob is both ASMR-adjacent and oddly violent—an aggressive, if completely benign, outlet for daily grievances. Now popular to the point of being profitable, there are entire conventions dedicated to it, like Brooklyn’s recent Slime Expo, which attracted droves of fans with a program of tutorials, competitions, and meet-and-greets with “slime stars.” Similar but (thankfully) less saccharine than the Museum of Ice Cream, the Sloomoo Institute, which opens next week in New York City, offers the “ultimate interactive playground” for slime enthusiasts, or just those curious about the beguiling power of this friendly, gooey glob. Apparently, this is how we hand-wring in the 21st century.