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An "Aesthetic" vs. An Identity Crisis

“Mob Wife” this, “Star Girl” that, you don’t know where you fit and it’s messing with your head. Whether it’s a style or the manner you are trying to achieve, finding an aesthetic that matches you is probably one of the most infuriating things. While all your friends have a distinct look, an iconic sense of style, and a unique personality, you’re stuck figuring yourself out and believe that fitting a certain “aesthetic” will be the only way to guide you through this feeling of insecurity and confusion. 

First of all, seeking an aesthetic to become is not going to be helpful. And second, you’re having an identity crisis because of social media, babe! 

Gen Z has catered to social media in a way that nothing can just be your own anymore. Through Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, specifically, everything from how you dress to how you do your hair/makeup to how you eat/what you drink and to what you do in your free time, everything has to be an aesthetic of some sort. 

“OMG! You’re wearing a plaid skirt and a button-down? You read and like coffee? You are literally the definition of the dark academia aesthetic!” 

“You wake up early, journal, and then work out? You have the Stanley cup, and have pretty skincare? That is soooo clean girl coded!”  

“You’re tall and skinny? You only wear staple pieces and apply hot, messy eyeliner to your finished makeup look? You’re definitely trying to fit the 90s model aesthetic.”

While all these types of looks and vibes “fit” that certain aesthetic, you simply cannot be an aesthetic. In real time, having an aesthetic does not automatically mean you are a “Rockstar Girlfriend” or “Coquette.” There are several ways to perceive an aesthetic, but that does not mean that they are correct. You could enjoy everything at once and experiment with fashion and makeup and still not fit your dream aesthetic. News flash, aesthetics are made up by people who do things the same way every day and do not broaden their horizon, which leads them to believe that is what an aesthetic means. 

In fact, the true meaning of aesthetic derives from something pleasing and beautiful and appreciating it in its true form. For example, you can enjoy the presence of something aesthetic, whether it be a painting, a person, a fashion statement, or something else. However, you cannot BE a “2014 Tumblr Aesthetic” person. These are all made-up terms to fuel social media’s love for fake personas. They were once eras like y2k and the '90s, but that does not mean it is an aesthetic and that copying the vibes and style from that era makes you fit that aesthetic.

The best way to be an aesthetic person is by being yourself and staying true to who you are. Not only does this solve the identity crisis issue, but it also helps you be aware that not fitting these imposter roles is completely okay. There’s an aesthetic in almost all things pretty, cool, and kind. A cute restaurant with leather booths and lovely ambiance, for example. Or a piece of furniture that is eccentric and different from the others. Saying, “I fit the Cool Girl Aesthetic because I wear sunnies to the club and wear all black,” or “I’m literally so '70s aesthetic because I dress like Daisy Jones and Stevie Nicks” is not actually the meaning of aesthetic. You could just be a cool girl or just someone who enjoys some retro fashion. The same goes for someone who makes up names for colors such as “Blueberry Milk Nails” instead of baby blue nails or “Strawberry Makeup” instead of what it actually is – makeup with hints of red and pink. 

Our lovely generation has made up a series of names and aesthetics for things that truly do not need any. If you are ever struggling with figuring out who you are, it isn’t done with finding the aesthetic you fit into, but with what YOU enjoy doing, how YOU like to dress, and how YOU portray yourself in private and public. 

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