Can an egg yolk with a cute round bum help us through our darkest days? As much as any of us would like to say that we are eternal optimists, we’ve all experienced times where we just… can’t… even. But this sad little yolk named Gudetama captures this feeling perfectly, and his worldwide popularity clues us in on how we can all move on to happier days!
You can find him on backpacks, watch him on TV, and likely find him somewhere inside yourself, too! People all around the world are falling in love with a little icon with a melancholy demeanor. Even if you don’t recognize Gudetama from popular culture right away, you can probably relate to his most dominant trait… his vulnerability.
Today we are exploring the phenomenon that’s occurring behind a symbol representing that sluggish feeling we’ve all had. Take a moment to sop up the cuteness of Gudetama, and let’s dive into the backstory behind why people adore this lethargic little yolk.
Have you ever noticed that the fastest way to connect with someone is to show them your soft side?
There’s something miraculous that occurs when we crack open the hard shell that, we insist, is protecting our most sensitive parts. When you share your vulnerability with others, it can result in an almost instantaneous boost of empathy. Suddenly, people can relate to you in new ways, giving you a new super-strength and freedom to be seen as your most authentic self!
Luckily for us, a Japanese company called Sanrio (the folks that brought us Hello Kitty) has hatched a character that makes vulnerability a concept we can all share together.
A different kind of cute.
So, why is this sad little egg yolk making people smile? Simply put: because they can relate to it!
Gudetama is the epitome of Kawaii, the Japanese cuteness culture. Kawaii refers to a type of cuteness that is so adorable it makes you want to take care of it. And let me tell you, while its aesthetic varies from your traditional Disney-animated brand of charm, Gudetama is definitely the kind of cute you want to cuddle up and cry with.
But how did Gudetama come to be so popular? This great video by Vox explains the origins of Kawaii, and how Gudetama became the poster child for vulnerability. Let’s dig in, shall we?
It’s ok to not be ok!
Sometimes we feel the pressure to be peppy and positive or else people will think we are no fun. But we’re only human, and not everyone feels awesome all the time. Some days you just want to laze around in your sweatpants and eat ice cream, watch sad movies, and hide away in your own cozy cocoon. And you have every right to do that!
Thankfully, Gudetama is normalizing this common feeling that we all experience. When an “unpopular” feeling like this becomes a normal part of conversation, there is less of a stigma around it, and the stresses that weigh on us become just a little easier to cope with.
Feeling it, letting it go, and moving on.
While it’s perfectly normal to get into a funk, it’s not always a good idea to stay there for a long time. Share your vulnerabilities with a friend or write it down in a journal to get it out. Acknowledge that feeling and use your cozy-sad-time to heal and recharge, but then, let it go.
Opening up to yourself is one of life’s greatest internal challenges, but embracing that vulnerability will unlock new doors of possibility and connection that you’ve likely never dreamed of. Some of the best music, movies, and books stemmed from the messy things we’ve encased within our shells!
Gudetama is always there for you when you’re feeling low and need a relatable little buddy. But if you could use a friendly nudge outside of that zone, try out one of these articles for some inspiration!
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- Vox. “How a Melancholy Egg Yolk Conquered Japan.” YouTube, 1 May 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTAnJTB9roI&feature=emb_title. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021. ↩