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Are old trends being re-paged in an elitist way?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Despite the fun, the reappearance of past tendencies is not inclusive to groups who cannot afford and understand them or be fairly seen in this picture. 

It is nearly impossible not to notice the comeback of trends from the last decades to the modern scenario: miniskirts, digital cameras, “see through” shirts, 00s songs by Britney Spears and Nelly Furtado are just a few examples among many others. However, in spite of how enjoyable this return might be, it goes unnoticed that it is potentially being done in an elitist way.

It is all about who does it

Livia Nunes, a Brazilian fashion influencer whose origins reside in a billionaire family, is responsible for bringing back a series of clothing and makeup tendencies via her social media accounts. Nevertheless, her financial position can lead to different social approaches towards these crazes depending on the economic background of who is doing them. For example, in the following Instagram Reels, Livia tries a sequence of extravagant vintage sunglasses by luxurious brands, which definitely would be evaluated as “tacky” rather than “chic” if they were being worn by someone else or not signed as Dior or Chanel.

Another example was when Bruna Griphao, a famous Brazilian actress, did, during her participation in the program Big Brother Brasil, the famous “eyebrow slit”, a trend that, in Brazil, was born at the end of the 90s in the midst of people from poorer communities and, as a consequence of this scenario, not seen as something admirable or respectable. Now, this tendency is rescued by an artist whose conditions strongly differ from the creators of the eyebrow slit, which is then appropriated by higher economic classes and, therefore, has its status changed.

Bruna Griphao doing the “eyebrow slit” in Big Brother Brasil

More money, please!

Furthermore, this phenomenon appears in the exclusionary prices of products which, first time in the market, used to be open to the general public and, now that they are back, became restricted to an elite class. The All Star sneakers, for instance, became tremendously popular during the 70s and the 80s (although the brand emerged roughly 50 years before!), when these shoes used to cost less than US$20. After losing space to other labels in the 90s, it turned into a trend again in the next decade and has kept its fame until nowadays, but with a different value.

In the modern scenario, the All Star sneakers are at least around US$60 or US$65, which is also a result of the “gourmetization” it suffered: the classic black or white shoes now come in exquisite colors and far-fetched designs, and the more innovative, the more exclusive.

 “Western Glam” models of All Star shoes, the prices go up to US$130

Elite language

This highbrow recovery not only occurs in the trends themselves, but also in how we name them: we commonly use the English language to refer to returning tendencies such as “friendship bracelets” or “lip combos”, even though we did not when they first appeared, which is probably related to the “engine” behind this contemporary comeback – the internet, where English is a predominant dialect.

Nonetheless, this is an aspect that impacts nations where wide access to contents in English is not a reality for a majority of citizens, like Portuguese and Spanish speaking Latin-American countries. Thus, a huge number of people end up excluded from these social and fashion practices.

The Chilean influencer Lila Rodriguez using the expression “Lip Combo”

It is time to open our eyes

Reflected in the way we face them, in how much money we invest in them and in the names we use, the truth is that, although unheeded by us, old trends are being re-paged through an elitist process. A reality check is more than necessary to allow everyone, no exception, to be equally tuned to the past-latest things.


The article above was edited by Fernanda Miki Tsukase.

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Marina Telent

Casper Libero '27

Estudante de jornalismo da Cásper Líbero, junto minhas paixões pela comunicação e pela vida :)