We’ve officially come full circle as a society: The combination of beer and hot women is cool and fun again. This time, though, it’s not beer companies like Budweiser leeringly (and cynically) associating their product with breasts. It’s the young women typically objectified in such marketing who have decided to bare nearly everything in order to recreate the sex-and-suds soaked posters of yore that spent decades lining the walls of every dive bar in this great nation (as well as countless garages and basements).
Across TikTok, these women are sharing the sexy posters they made to look like advertisements for their favorite beers or liquors, commonly referring to the process as the “Beer Poster Challenge.” Often, they’re doing so as a gift for their partner, using his drink-of-choice as the theme. On the #beerposter hashtag, which has more than 600 million views, the majority of videos begin with the poster girl facing her camera and TikTok’s auto-generated text-to-speech voice reciting some variation of “So I heard we’re doing the Beer Poster Challenge trend” before cutting to the big reveal.
The specifics of each poster vary, but they all share some common themes — namely, the woman in the photo looks sexy, and somewhere on the poster is the name of a booze brand. Sometimes she’s posing with the beer itself, holding it in her hand or pouring it over her chest. In many cases, though, the alcohol isn’t present at all — it’s simply a poster of a girl in a bikini with the words “Corona” photoshopped above her. There are a few examples of men participating in the trend, too. In one, a guy shows off his six pack for a hypothetical Budweiser advertisement, while another offers up “what the ladies REALLY want,” posing with Starbucks logos instead.
Set primarily to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” most #beerposter contributions seem like a logical continuation of nostalgia for the 1980s stripper-rock aesthetic (the bimbo resurgence serving as a foremother of sorts). On a simpler level, though, it’s also just a fun excuse to look hot on the internet with the cover of participating in a trend for your boyfriend. That said, it’s not the easiest trend to take part in, as even the simplest renditions appear to require some basic Photoshop skills, a friend to photograph you, and of course, a strong body image.
Unfortunately, given TikTok’s ability to dictate consumer interests, it’s probably only a matter of time before the beer companies themselves start leaning into the trend, and ruin the fun in the process. Exactly how popular that sexualized marketing will be is unclear: Part of the popularity of the “challenge” is the individualization it allows for. Not to mention, its charm isn’t manufactured by an ad agency — it radiates from the complete and total agency of the women in the posters.