Lets talk about the clean girl aesthetic
If you are a TikTok user, you may have come across the trend around different aesthetic types, with the most notable being ‘That Girl’ or ‘The Clean Girl’ aesthetic. The aesthetic is an idealised version of the 'perfect girl’. Organised, no makeup-makeup and one top of everything in their life. The aesthetic has spawned different variations leading to the ‘Vanilla Girl’ ‘Sad Girl’ and ‘Downtown Girl’. Despite these trends amounting to millions of views on TikTok, the concept of these trends are entwined with negativity.
The idea of subcultures is not a new concept; beauty trends have been around forever and we often see individuals chasing unattainable goals to align with the current beauty norms. Whilst some have embraced the trend growth of these current aesthetic types, using them to drive product sales and build following, they have also been called out as problematic by certain brands and individuals, including Love, MeMeMe our own Gen-Z and face and body care brand.
The idea of ‘no makeup-makeup’ being analogous to looking clean diminishes the more grandiose and flamboyant expressions of beauty and self expression and deems them as dirty. What’s more, through their TikTok virality, images of how to behave, look and even eat like a clean girl have revealed society's innate misogyny (dictating the way an ideal girl should look and behave) and reinforce exclusionary Euro-centric beauty standards. These ideals have been long-standing barometers of class perception. The recent trend for recreating a ‘chav’ make-up look that saw Kim K layer make up on her face is a great example of this. The beauty standards promoted by ‘The Clean Girl’ seemingly uphold hierarchical beauty norms that are often unattainable.
Rhia Phinn stated that today's toxic obsession with effortless beauty is just that, regardless of how trends shift, they invariably exist to ostracise lower socioeconomic classes and those who lack proximity to hegemonic standards of desirability. These aesthetics create forms of exclusions in the beauty space.
At Love, MeMeMe we champion our community, celebrating the skin they are in and honouring their individuality. There is no perfect skin and how you choose to express yourself is up to you.