The Mannequin Challenge

The following informant is an 8th grader. In this account she is explaining what the Mannequin Challenge is. This is a transcription of our conversation, she is identified as SA and I am identified as K:

SA: So, the mannequin challenge was something you heard about online. We found it on Instagram, and it’s basically you play a song and you have to stay still like a mannequin. and someone takes a video of the room, and you can act like you are having a party or like doing sports or whatever, and they just take a picture of you still not moving

K: do you have to use a particular song?

SA: yes, Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,”

K: What grade where you in when this became viral?

SA: Well it was last year, so 7th grade

K: Did you participate and make a video

SA: Yeah we did it with my English class and someone recorded it and someone posted it on instagram

K: Do you know who started the challenge?

SA: No we just heard about it when it went viral. I think the first one was at a high school.

K: What did you think when you first saw it?

SA: I thought it was like really cool and a funny idea, and then a lot of people were doing it at our school so I wanted to do it too

Context: She told me this while at my house one weekend.


Like with other internet trends and challenges I struggled to define them. It kind of feels like a ritual, in that you have to do a certain thing like freezing and playing that song, in order to say its that challenge and then post it online, but you are still aloud liberties, like doing it in a classroom, or stage, or anywhere really.


I could not get permission to post the video the informant did with her class, so instead Im providing a link to the top 15 celebrity mannequin challenges