Every few months a TikTok goes viral that transcends the platform, making waves across forums and sparking debate online.
And this time, it’s about math.
TikTok user Gracie Cunningham could have never guessed she was about to become the most talked-about person on the internet this week when she uploaded a thought-provoking clip to the video-sharing platform.
While doing her everyday makeup routine, the American blonde shared her thoughts on the concept that mathematics as we know it is “not real.”
“I know that like, it’s real because we all like, learn it in school or whatever,” she says while buffing out her concealer. “But who came up with this concept?!”
Gracie questions how the universally accepted concept of math, specifically algebra, came to be and why we continue to subscribe to it centuries later.
The controversial clip, which has been watched nearly 1 million times, has now made its way onto Twitter where users are heavily debating Gracie’s question.
“This is the dumbest video I’ve ever seen,” tweeted @aleturner, who was the first to post the video to Twitter. While many agree that Gracie’s stance on math seems far fetched, many have come to her defense, explaining that there is actually an entire discipline of philosophy dedicated to exploring this concept.
“Not people in the comments trying to clown her as if there isn’t a whole branch of philosophy dedicated to the theory of whether math was created or discovered,” wrote user @wavyemma. “She’s not stupid, she’s curious.”
Others echo this sentiment, applauding Gracie for asking questions and using critical thought despite what the education system teaches. They also note that many questions from this discipline do not have clear answers.
Scientist and philosopher Grady Booch also chimed in, calling Gracie’s video on of “the most wonderful videos” he’s seen. “You have done nothing but belittle her,” he wrote to the OP.
Gracie’s age and gender have also become part of the discussion, with many claiming the backlash would be less severe if she were not a young woman.
“I feel like this TikTok and people’s reaction to it is like the peak of how much the internet HATES teenage girls (or those who they perceive as girls),” wrote one user. “Actual experts agreed with her, she was RIGHT to question this, but because she sounded like your average teen girl.”
Despite the controversy, Gracie is grateful for the discourse she sparked. Early this morning the viral teen tweeted that is in “awe” of all the support. “Does Jimmy Kimmel call me or do I call him?” she joked.
For more of Gracie’s abstract thoughts, follow her TikTok here.