Microtrends: aesthetics’ positive impact



New social media trends are positively impacting people and are helping people find their true passions. https://unsplash.com/license

Mackenzie Prince

Social media has become a consistent platform to boost trends revolving around fashion, music and other forms of entertainment. However, most trends die out as quickly as they begin, creating “microtrends.”

In the past decade, social media has been used as a way to create and expand microtrends and aesthetics for teen girls, including “Tumblr girls,” “VSCO girls” and “Indie girls.” Aesthetics can influence what people wear, the way they act and what hobbies they enjoy.

Microtrends have been called out for their negative impacts, those which often lead to unethical consumption and cyberbullying. However, the detriments of these trends don’t completely outweigh the positives.

Although most TikTok microtrends are recognized as harmful to consumer habits and mental health, many recent aesthetics have actually improved the habits of TikTok users.

Recently, two practical aesthetics have become popularized on TikTok: the “Downtown Girls” and the “Clean Girl” aesthetic.

A “Downtown Girl” wears headphones, uses digital cameras, watches Gilmore Girls and reads books. By following this aesthetic, readers have found some of their favorite genres or book series, as well as improved their vocabulary, imagination and mental health.

According to a study by Publisher’s Weekly, in 2021 booksellers sold 825.7 million books in comparison to the 757.9 million books sold in 2020. Furthermore, print book sales have risen more than 18% since 2020.

Junior Lydia Olivieri of Colts Neck, the founder of the CHS Book Club, believes this resurgence in book popularity creates a great atmosphere for readers to expand their knowledge and passion.

“I think social media has become a really good tool for people to share the material they’re reading and recommend to others on a much larger scale than before,” Olivieri said. “This is especially important considering that social media is often used as a tool to amplify the authentic voices of others, and there’s no that shouldn’t also be true with books.”

Another positive example includes the “Clean Girl” aesthetic, which revolves around staying organized, waking up early, wearing minimal makeup and drinking water.

Unlike other activities popularized on TikTok, these four habits are practical improvements in peoples’ lives that help lift self-esteem and happiness. On a social platform where the idea of “perfection” is often broadcasted, wearing minimal makeup and forming a simple routine is effective for both creators and viewers.

Other trending habits that have become popular due to social media are thrifting and astrology.

According to Pan Macmillian, “While it’s difficult to know exactly how many of us actually believe in astrology, evidence shows that over 90% of adults know their zodiac sign.”

Although zodiac signs are often ridiculed for their inaccuracy, many still find comfort and pride in the personality traits that align with their sign.

These simple hobbies allow people to discover themselves through their sense of style and spirituality. Internet trends encourage users to find a community in others who express themselves in a similar way.

Junior Alex Batzar of Middletown discovered some of her favorite everyday essentials by following these trends.

“There have been so many trends on TikTok and Pinterest especially that have helped me discover more about myself and what I like,” Batzar said. “I’ve found a lot of greats, music and even tips that help me on a day-to-day basis.”

In the past, internet popularity and unethical consumption have overshadowed the positive effects of microtrends. However, without the influence of aesthetics, many people would not be able to find new hobbies.

“Social media has allowed so many people to find community in literature,” Oliveri said. “And in a world where it feels that books have been falling by the wayside, it’s a really nice thing to be a part of.”