The NewSLU

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

The NewSLU

The NewSLU

A Quest for Identity Through Fashion

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media dominance, platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have become influential trendsetters, shaping the very fabric of what is considered fashionable. Internet natives, like Generation Z, are at the forefront, rely heavily on these platforms for self-expression and validation. The quest for identity intertwines with their obsession with fashion aesthetics, driven by a desire to fit in, be perceived as fashionable and carve out a unique personal brand.

Scrolling through endless feeds, scanning for inspiration and validation, we seem to be drawn to the magnetic pull of influencers. Every product endorsement, every meticulously staged outfit, becomes a commandment in the quick life-cycle of trends. This insatiable thirst for social acceptance compels us to mimic, internalize these strictly curated “aesthetics.”

These distinct visual styles embody moods and personalities, providing creative avenues for self-expression. However, they also spark conversations about authenticity, societal pressure, and the essence of individuality.

Cottagecore, normcore, Y2K, Clean girl, goth, dark academia and old money are some examples of the niche labels. Here’s what some voices in the comments of YouTube have to say about them:

@FlipTheBard says, “Nowadays anything and anyone can become an aesthetic. We don’t have identities anymore, we have “aesthetics.”

@flamingmonkeyheads shares an anecdote that serves as a humorous reminder of the limitations of labeling oneself by aesthetics. We are multifaceted individuals, not confined to pre-packaged boxes:

“Reminds me of the time a woman came into the store where I worked, saw me wearing baggy jeans, a black tank top, and a flannel, and asked me what my aesthetic was,” @flamingmonkeyheads wrote. “I was just dumbfounded and had no idea what to tell her, so I just said I was gay.”

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A Quest for Identity Through Fashion