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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 Washington chapter.

Mob wife, clean girl, dark academia—these and many others are all different aesthetics that, theoretically, can be achieved by anyone. The only possible hindrances to embodying many of these things: money, time, and opportunity.

Besides the obvious issue of conformity, labeling, and constriction inherent to the adoption of a specific aesthetic, many different highly cultivated and curated ‘vibes’ are only achievable through highly specific and targeted means. Take ‘clean-girl’ for example; a vibe I have often tried hard myself to embody, and one that many influencers, celebrities, and social media personalities personify, this “aesthetic” essentially symbolizes wealth. The clothes, products, makeup, and attitude of the stereotypical ‘clean girl’ emulate money—high-end athletic clothing, designer makeup, and beauty routines that take time to master are all things that can only be achieved with the availability of funds and time. While attempts to imitate the trend can be witnessed through uses of drug store makeup, target brand haircare, and thrifted clothes (to use my personal attempts as an example), one never feels they quite measure up to the image they are trying to portray. 

Although the perpetuation of aesthetics themselves is not inherently classist, I believe that the concepts of popular “aesthetics” have provided a platform that encourages behavior based around the flaunting of wealth and the worship and imitation of those who do so. Not all aesthetics are subject to this perspective, but a large majority of them are, which allows for this generalization. Often, efforts to achieve a certain vibe are simply excuses or avenues for those with money and the means to spend it to exhibit their ability to do so, and the perpetuation of this culture found in today’s day and age through media platforms only exacerbates this issue among the practice.

Ella Goulet

Washington '27

Hi! My name is Ella Goulet and I am a freshman at the UW. I plan to double major in psychology and political science with a minor in history or journalism. I love writing and spend most of my free time journaling or working on short stories. Back in Alexandria, VA (my hometown), I was a chief editor for my high school's literary magazine, "Cambridge Road." I recently joined the HER campus writing team, and I am extremely excited to begin working for them.   My favorite topics to write about include mental healthy, current events, and ways to take advantage of living in the Seattle area (as I am a new resident), so you will find a lot of information about those topics on my page. I plan to continue my writing career at the UW and for Her Campus throughout my time here, and hope to become a writer for The Daily.