Back in 2018, The New York Times wrote an article about glitter: “What is Glitter?” While the piece talks about a lot of things, including what glitter is actually made of, the article blew up for a different reason: It unearthed a conspiracy about glitter that has had people coming up with theories ever since. Although the article came out years ago, the theories are picking up steam right now on TikTok and people are coming up with all sorts of ideas.
The Glitter Industry Can’t Talk About It
The biggest reason for this sparkly mystery has everything to do with contracts. As the GlitterEx executive says in the NYT article, she isn’t allowed to divulge the biggest purchaser of glitter:
When I asked Ms. Dyer if she could tell me which industry served as Glitterex’s biggest market, her answer was instant: “No, I absolutely know that I can’t.”Caity Weaver, The New York Times
Whether it’s just straight-up trade secrets or something more nefarious, we’ll probably never know. And that’s where TikTok comes in. A recent deep-dive into the meat of that 2018 article currently has over 5 million views.
Where is All the Glitter? A Look at Some of the Theories
While there might be a shortage of glitter in the world, there definitely isn’t a shortage of theories about where it could all be going. Some people think it could be the sparkly toothpastes like Crest that could be filling our orifices with the stuff. The beauty industry could also be to blame, although would that really be the kind of surprise that would warrant all the secrecy? Others think the boat or auto industry since their paints are incredibly sparkly. And maybe it’s toxic masculinity that could be blamed for it being a secret.
But all of this seems obvious, right? You can literally see the glitter in some toothpastes and in automotive paint. In the interview with the NYT, the GlitterEx exec said that you’d probably never guess by looking at it:
“And you would never guess it. Let’s just leave it at that.” I asked if she could tell me why she couldn’t tell me. “Because they don’t want anyone to know that it’s glitter.”Caity Weaver, The New York Times
And this is where all the confusion comes from. People are clamoring to figure out what it could be. The glitter conspiracy is so tasty, a woman even made a PowerPoint presentation to show her husband, which went viral on TikTok.
So if we’re ruling out toothpaste or cosmetics or automotive paint, what’s left? Since it doesn’t look like glitter, according to that article, it could be literally anything. Is it used to make money? Is it added to sand to make beaches look nicer? Is it in our food? We might not ever know.
Glitter Conspiracy Theories on TikTok
If you stay on #glitterconspiracy TikTok, we might just find the answer to this mystery–or at least some really cool theories that never get proven officially. Watch the TikToks below for the most viral deep-dives on the glitter conspiracy.