A high school senior is showing off her hand painted parking spot, which has “elder emos” in their feels.
From customizing their parking spots to sporting kids’ backpacks, high school students are taking to TikTok to document their participation in senior year trends before graduating and going off to college.
On Aug. 26, Peyton Mikolayek (@peytonliveslife), a 17-year-old student at a Michigan high school, posted the first of three videos that document her process for painting her senior parking spot.
Mikolayek, who picked spot 81 because it’s her lucky number, starts off by going over the spot with a layer of primer before painting two coats of baby pink.
In her second video, which she posted to TikTok on Aug. 27, she lays out stencils for the lettering, which she traces with black permanent marker.
“After both types of letters were done being traced, we filled in the outlines with black paint,” she explains in her voiceover. “This was honestly such a pain but I did it.”
Next, Mikolayek puts two coats of primer over the outline she created for the spot’s “two heads” that she’s replicating.
“Doing all the highlight details on the hair was definitely the hardest part so far because I had to freehand them,” she adds.
TikTok users, specifically the My Chemical Romance fans, couldn’t contain their excitement upon realizing the direction Mikolayek was going in.
“I’m like very proud??? of you having this my chemical romance cover. Idk gives me hope for future generation,” @noreikal commented, referring to the band’s sophomore album, 2004’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, which appears to be the inspiration for Mikolayek’s parking spot design.
The ability to paint a parking spot, Mikolayek explains in a comment, is thanks to a fundraiser put on by her high school. Each student pays $20 and in exchange is allowed “to show some school spirit/creativity” by personalizing their assigned spot for the year.
In her third video, which she posted to the app on Aug. 29, Mikolayek finishes off her parking spot. She focuses on completing the album artwork.
“I mixed my hot pink paint with neon glitter and chalked out the splatter designs on each face. I filled in my chalk outlines of where the blood should be on each face and sprinkled more glitter on top of the wet paint,” she explains. “It turned out so pretty and sparkly. I’m absolutely in love.”
After some shading, Mikolayek paints the facial details on the man and woman, before adding her and her boyfriend’s handprints for a “personal touch.”
On Aug. 29, the same day she posted part three, Mikolayek shared a “concise” video showcasing the finished product. Of course, to keep with the My Chemical Romance theme, Mikolayek’s video was set to “Thank You for the Venom,” the ninth track off Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.
In addition to being impressed by her artistic prowess, it seems several TikTok users are feeling incredibly nostalgic and proud of the fact that Gen Z-ers like Mikolayek have a deep appreciation for an iconic emo band like My Chemical Romance.
“This makes me emo heart smile,” @boi.yeets.world wrote.
“I’m so happy high schoolers are still listening to mcr,” @carolinelaff13 commented.
“Pink MCR is my new aesthetic,” @smellslikeislandmango replied.
While hand painting senior parking spots isn’t exactly a nationwide tradition, many high school students who do so are also documenting their artistic process for TikTok. Several creators, it seems, have looked to the year 2004 for their inspiration as well. “Mean Girls” debuted in theaters that year, and these Gen Z-ers are referencing the ever-influential, often-quoted “Burn Book” in particular.
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