Standing on Business

What Does “Standing on Business” Mean on TikTok?

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms, particularly among Generation Z. The app allows users to create and share short videos, and trends spread quickly. One phrase that has been used in TikTok videos is “standing on business.” But what exactly does this expression mean in terms of TikTok? This article will explain in detail what it means to be “standing on business” on TikTok.

The phrase “standing on business” has become a popular caption or vocal clip in TikTok videos, particularly those involving dancing or modeling. TikTok users, particularly Black creators, use the phrase to indicate that they are highlighting their most valuable assets in the video.

Essentially, when someone says they are “standing on business” on TikTok, they are proudly displaying their most appealing physical characteristics. This could refer to showing off curves, muscles, hair, makeup, or style.

When someone posts a video with the intention of gaining attention, the phrase conveys confidence and self-assurance.

Origins of the Phrase

While “standing on business” has recently become a TikTok phenomenon, the phrase’s meaning predates the platform. The slang expression originates in Black culture and has been around for some time.

It first appeared in the 1980s and 1990s, most notably in hip hop. Rappers would use the phrase in their lyrics to boast about their abilities, success, or industry status. 

Over time, urban communities interpreted “standing on business” more broadly to mean showcasing your best self and demanding respect.

So, when TikTokers declare in their videos that they are “standing on business,” they are channeling an attitude of confidence, self-promotion, and being unapologetically themselves, all of which have long been associated with hip hop and black culture. The phrase has found a new home and popularity on TikTok.

Common ways to “stand on business” on TikTok

TikTok videos where creators claim to be “standing on business” fall into a few common categories:

Dance and Modeling Videos

Many videos on straight TikTok and alt TikTok show young people dancing, lip syncing, or modeling. When the caption or audio says “standing on business,” it means they plan to highlight their most attractive assets in the video.

For girls, this includes flaunting their curves, wearing revealing outfits, striking vogueing poses, and dancing provocatively. For men, standing on business while dancing on TikTok usually entails highlighting their muscles, six packs, dynamic dance moves, and confidence. These videos essentially state, “Look at me and how good I look.”

Flexing Videos

In some videos, TikTokers are literally standing on something related to their business and financial success. This includes videos of people flaunting their collections of sneakers, jewelry, designer items, or cash.

In these contexts, the phrase is used literally to express that they are standing on top of their business ventures, investments, or expensive possessions, both metaphorically and literally flexing. TikTok has become a popular platform for subtle financial brags and materialism.

Comedic videos

While most TikTok videos use the phrase “standing on business” seriously, others use it humorously and sarcastically. Comedy/parody videos may show someone standing on random ordinary objects or silly items and declaring, “I’m standing on business.”

The joke mocks the boastful tone of the saying by applying it to mundane situations. So, in amusing contexts on TikTok, people essentially mock those who are “standing on business.”

Purpose and Effect of Using the Phrase

Why do TikTok creators claim to be “standing on business” in captions and voiceovers? Using this popular phrase serves multiple purposes:

Capturing Attention

A major motivation is simply to capture people’s attention so that the video receives more views and engagement. Saying “standing on business” implies that they are intentionally showboating to gain attention. Declaring that they’re “standing on business” invites attention, particularly for straight TikTok dancers/models.

Signaling Confidence

TikTok focuses on trends, aesthetics, performance, and attention. So “standing on business” has become a way for users, particularly young Black creators, to project confidence. It shows self-assurance and pride when they display their best physical qualities, talents, poses, and assets.

Increasing Reach & Profile

In addition to gaining views on individual videos, many TikTokers want to grow their brand and following on the platform. Using popular audios and captions can help them reach a larger audience and raise their profile. “Standing on business” has essentially become a trend that creators follow in the hopes that their content will be widely shared.

And the phrase is frequently effective in increasing views, comments, shares, and followers – as long as creators successfully demonstrate skills and attributes that deserve attention. TikTok has effectively incentivized standing on your metaphorical business!

Concerns about the phrase’s use on TikTok

However, the prevalence of young people claiming to be “standing on business” has sparked some societal concerns about the platform’s culture.

Sexualization of minors

In many cases, teenagers combine the audio clip with provocative dancing. Some argue that this promotes the sexualization and exploitation of minors on the app. 

Child advocacy organizations have specifically criticized the “standing on business” trend as inappropriate exposure for underage youth.

Promotion of Materialism

Others criticize how “standing on business” encourages superficial materialism in Generation Z.

 Flaunting designer goods for attention promotes consumerism, financial showboating, and debt culture without demonstrating meaningful skill sets. Critics argue that the phrase promotes misaligned priorities among youth.

Appropriation Concerns

There is also debate about whether predominantly white TikTokers using this slang phrase constitute cultural appropriation.

Because “standing on business” originated in Black culture, some see white creators who use it opportunistically as appropriative. Others see it as cultural diffusion. This is an ongoing discussion as TikTok trends spread throughout communities.


In summary, claiming to be “standing on business” on TikTok means you intend to proudly flaunt your best assets, qualities, and self-presentation in order to attract positive attention and raise your profile.

The slang phrase originated in Black culture decades ago as an expression of confidence, but it has since exploded in popularity and various interpretations on TikTok. Young users use the phrase “standing on business” to boast about their bodies, dance abilities, finances, or sense of humor.

While the phrase can generate attention and engagement, critics argue that it promotes negative trends such as sexualization, materialism, and appropriation. However, among TikTok’s Gen Z users, unapologetically “standing on business” appears to be in style. 

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