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Breaking the Cycle of Aesthetic Overconsumption

Art by: Channing Smith from Glamour’s What’s My Aesthetic?

Everyone on Earth wants to achieve a personal style and beauty that suits them, whether wanted or unwanted. While having a personal aesthetic has never been a problem, issues begin to arise when the shift from one aesthetic to another is continuous and rapid. The cycle of jumping from one style to another because of microtrends that last no longer than three weeks is unhealthy. In the search for individuality, expressing yourself has become a greater problem than anyone can imagine. The way people choose to express themselves through beauty is called an aesthetic. 

The term aesthetic(s) came about in 1735 by German Philosopher, Alexander Baumgarten to describe beauty and perfection. The true definition of aesthetic is something “giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance.” In other words, aesthetics are meant to enhance the beauty of someone or something. Clothing is one of the many ways humans express themselves and it is most likely the easiest way to do so. However, with the high demand for clothes that bring out a certain type of aesthetic, it makes way for microtrends and fast fashion. 

The term fast fashion can be taken in a literal sense. It is fashion apparel that is in high demand, cheap and everyone wants it for the time being. It becomes popular at a rapid rate but then declines in popularity quickly when people are ready to move on to the next big thing. Because people consume clothes in a short amount of time, it causes thrift stores to overflow with cheap clothing. People try so hard to fit into the rigid ideas of an aesthetic and as each trend passes away, they are now back to square one and the cycle repeats. In the end of all this, people are left with little sense of what their true aesthetic is and what represents them. 

While the cycle of finding an aesthetic seems to end in demise, there are ways for each person to escape the cycle of aesthetic microtrends. The simplest way to achieve this is by removing the mindset that every aesthetic will be yours. Instead, explore on your own, go around and look for inspiration. Pinterest is your best bet. Before buying an item of clothing think about whether you will end up wearing it or if it’ll end up rotting in your closet. Find your personal color palette as well so that you know what colors would complement you. 

The biggest piece of advice is that you might not adhere to one specific aesthetic. Your personal aesthetic could be a mix of multiple different aesthetics that help you feel confident. In this case, just have fun with it and make up your own aesthetic using your name as the preface for it. If your name is Janice call your personal style Janiaesthetic or something like that. Everything is uniquely yours and don’t be afraid to show it. 

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