If you look at your phone, television or any other screen, you will most likely be met with a plucky tune that can only be attributed to an advertisement. Whether it be for the newest, limited edition item at a nearby restaurant chain, the latest piece of technology on the market or the most en-vogue clothing, advertisements will always be battling for your attention.
After all, it’s only natural when browsing online or flipping through channels. If something can be connected to the outside world, it will be utilized to sell products to you. We usually do not think much of this at all. It’s become such a part of life, so why question it?
However, with the rise of apps such as TikTok, the monetization and trend-ification of this process has become even more prevalent in the Western society. Influencers strive to make everything an aesthetic by assigning a label and persona to anything they can.
Have you ever heard of coquette? The clean girl aesthetic? Downtown girl? If you have any presence on TikTok, I’m sure you’ve had at least a smidge of exposure to these terms. In this age, most people are desperate to have a label to cling to, and I can certainly understand.
Many individuals find themselves losing their sense of self and identity, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic that forced everyone to stay indoors. It makes sense that people, mostly young adult and teen girls, crave some kind of aesthetic to identify and resonate with.
As stated earlier, this is a phenomenon that almost always affects women instead of men. This can just be chalked up to coincidence, but I believe the correlation is stronger than we think. Women, especially in today’s world, are made to fit into boxes all the time.
Are you a nice girl? A mean girl? Gothic or preppy? Neat or messy? These are things that most women consider at least once in their lives, as they try to find where they fit in society. Influencers and companies directly appeal to these demographics, attempting to market their products to girls who feel as if they need it to fit in.
For example, the influx of popularity of the Stanley cups and Glossier products. They have a clean, modern and feminine appeal. This attracts the audience of women who would label themselves as “clean girls” or “it girls,” perhaps. I sometimes can’t even resist the attraction to these brands.
However, sooner or later, these trends will be dropped in favor of the next big thing. This is also natural; trends always tend to fall out of favor. Despite this fact though, the cycle of trends on TikTok (for the most part) are fluctuating at a frankly intimidating pace.
You will see content creators with huge audiences making thousand-dollar hauls from places such as Shein, Zara, Dollskill and other contemporary brands. After the novelty of these items have worn off, they often end up in landfills or clogging thrift stores with racks of cheap fast fashion.
Now, this isn’t to say that participating in these trends directly makes you a bad person. Humans are easily influenced creatures. Nonetheless, it is wise to find your own personal style and not conform to what you think will make you popular or trendy.
These fads come and go, but to be timeless is something that I think everyone can strive for and achieve with just a small change in mindset. Carve out your own niche, as that is something that nobody can take away at the drop of a fashionable hat.