I was scrolling through TikTok a few days ago when I came across this video. It was refreshing to see a Youtuber promoting her channel with a glimpse into her fun, everyday life, without conforming to the common “quiet luxury” or “clean/soft girl aesthetic.”
Although I love both aesthetics myself, I questioned why certain “eras” continue to alter social media so drastically. It’s apparent how deeply these trends influence us, often without us realizing it.
A few years ago, around 2016-2017, the “baddie” aesthetic towered over Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Trends change, fluctuate, and alternate all the time – a seemingly necessary part of dating history when it comes to lifestyle, fashion, beauty, etc. However, when we scroll on TikTok, watch a YouTube video, or like our friend’s new post, the level of influence these trends or “aesthetics” have over us becomes blurry.
The Line of Influence
On a basic level, trends affect your lifestyle and hobbies. You want to try that new makeup routine, spice up your playlist when a new song becomes viral, or you want to try that new recipe everyone’s doing. But the impact doesn’t stop there.
Opinions and Beliefs: When we constantly scroll through social media, we have no time to stop thinking and question what we’ve seen, heard, read, or learned. “Stop Thought” is a common manipulation tactic, because when we fail to question or analyze thoughts on our own account, we fall victim to others’ beliefs without notice.
Your Emotions: With new thoughts and beliefs, your emotions have kicked in. Maybe you’re having some cognitive dissonance, or these new habits or hobbies make you feel good – or bad.
Now you’ve taken action. You’ve bought the clothes, the book, watched the new movie, or even gone deeper: After seeing relationships on social media, you decided to take a break with your boyfriend and rethink your relationship. Or you’ve altered your persona – what once was a trendy new outfit you put on is now you’re identity. You are the “soft girl.”
We Want Real & Raw: The End of an Era?
Although trends come and go, and the trails of influence they leave behind can be positive or negative, there will always be a line of truth. And sometimes, the truth is refreshing to see.