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Let’s Talk About the “Clean Girl” Aesthetic

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 Kutztown chapter.

A lifestyle trend called the “clean girl aesthetic” has become extremely popular on the social media app TikTok. The hallmarks of the aesthetic include, but are not limited to: slicked back hair, gold jewelry, light and natural makeup, acrylic nails, clear lip gloss, eating healthy, going to the gym everyday, etc. Although the contents of the aesthetic are not an issue, the people participating in this trend are. 

Many women of color are upset with the trend, as most—if not all—of the beauty components are stolen from their cultures, just to be used in a white-washed version of the beauty looks they have been doing for decades. They say that when they practice the beauty aspects of the aesthetic, they are seen as “unprofessional” or “dirty,” whereas when white women do the same, it is called the “clean girl look.” 

The rage is rightfully placed, as it is infuriating to see white women steal ideas from women of color. To make matters worse, many white women are not interested in educating themselves on the matter and do not believe there is an issue with this trend. Hopefully, we can see more accountability from the white women participating in this trend in the form of them acknowledging where the aesthetic originates from. 

Sarah Mengel

Kutztown '23

Senior English major with a minor coffee addiction :)