Want to relate better to Gen Z? Learn about these aesthetic trends catching their attention

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'Videos covering these aesthetics have reportedly gained over one billion views since 2015'
'Videos covering these aesthetics have reportedly gained over one billion views since 2015'
  • Generation Z (Gen Z) refers to the generation born between 1997 and 2012, following millennials
  • Gen Z has been raised in the time of internet and social media
  • In 2019, Gen Z was found to comprise of 46% of the population

Gen Z, also known as Zoomers or Centennials, was found to comprise 46% of the population in the second quarter of 2019, affording them a large social media presence and influence. 

What is starting to become clear is that Gen Z is keen on embodying new aesthetics which are flooding social media, as evidenced by Youtube videos covering these aesthetics having reportedly gained over one billion views since 2015.  

These aesthetics are defined as "a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty" and include such themes as cottagecore, dark academia, royalcore, and Y2K.

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What does this tell us about Gen Z? 

Gen Z are embodying these new aesthetics to shape their identities, both on- and offline.

A shining theme that comes across with the increased popularity of these new aesthetics is the repetition of popular trends that circle their way back every 20 to 30 years ago, though in a more contemporary fashion. 

The current most popular looks include the following:

Cottagecore as an aesthetic embraces a "simpler, sustainable existence that is harmonious with nature".

It is a nod to the romance, beauty and nostalgia of the traditional English countryside style.

Fashion, trends
'Cottagecore was popularised by teenagers and young adults celebrating an idealised rural life.'

The Dark Academia aesthetic focuses more on 19th-century upper-class European culture and American prep, enhanced by the use of Earthy tones.

Trends, fashion
'Pretentiousness is celebrated within the dark academia community. Romanticizing education and moments in life is the core appeal of the aesthetic.'

Royalcore refers to a group of Aesthetics based on visuals of West European royalty, ranging from the 5th to the 19th century. 

This aesthetic is characterised more by elegance, castle structure, surrounding grounds, knights and gardens.

fashion, trends
'Royalcore, as of now, mainly focuses on visual characteristics and contexts of historical European monarchies'

Lastly, and probably more familiar to most, Y2K, an aesthetic named after the Y2K bug, was a prevalent popular culture between 1995 and 2004. 

This aesthetic revolves around fashion, hardware design, music and decorative accessories based on tech optimism.

Fashion, trends
'Most Y2K aesthetics rely on the use of technology and slick futuristic looks, signaling the optimism of a new era as the 20th century'

Why should these trends matter to parents?

Parents need to remember that staying on top of trends allows them the ability to watch out for content that could be harmful to their children.

Insight into these aesthetics may also give parents a chance to relate to their children, giving them a small look into their children's influences, style and interests. 


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