The Vanilla Girl TikTok Aesthetic is Problematic

Robert Hundley

Impression Source: Getty/The Superior Brigade

TikTok is the most current application that absolutely everyone appears to be to have a adore-detest romantic relationship with. On 1 hand, the social media system has the means to modify lives: persons like Monet McMichael and Golloria George are the illustration the younger men and women of colour have been longing for in the elegance room, and the beauty hacks are 2nd to none. On the other hand, there are a good deal of questionable “traits” floating all-around the room that are, put merely, problematic.

The most important a single of late? The “vanilla female” trend. The aesthetic is about neutral-tone every thing, from makeup and garments to scented candles and fragrance. The #vanillagirl hashtag has gathered far more than 533 million sights on the app so considerably, and if you scroll by way of the videos you will quickly recognize a couple matters that the creators also have in widespread: they are white, thin, able-bodied, and are, or are on their way to turning into, blond.

Now, there is absolutely nothing inherently improper with people next a development. Stanley cups, beige coloration palettes, and claw clips do not make a villain. On the other hand, when it excludes Black and individuals of colour even though rejecting any hint of range, there is certainly a trouble. As innocuous the vanilla lady aesthetic appears, its recognition paints a greater, and alarming, photo of wherever the elegance neighborhood is headed, and it is a tale we’ve seen unravel — with true-lifestyle repercussions — prior to.

People who have not suit the mould of Eurocentric beauty benchmarks have been blatantly discriminated versus in the two the United States and bigger culture at big, and it has price them funding for their corporations, earning probable, and even good accessibility to housing. On an global scale, it has caused the development of caste devices, resulted in the skin-bleaching industry turning out to be a billion-dollar enterprise, and has even caused the displacement of Indigenous persons from their homes. Development or not, the champions of the vanilla girl aesthetic appear to make no hard work to recognize that their exclusion of people today of colour is sending a message that whiteness, higher than all, is the backdrop versus which people today should exist. That is only not genuine.

For as a lot development as we imagine has been designed, Black and brown people continue to have actively battle for inclusion in the beauty place. This is why the drive to pass the CROWN Act across all 50 states continues, and why initiatives like the 15 p.c pledge exist.

Indeed, the “vanilla lady” aesthetic is just a TikTok trend — until it isn’t really. Till these developments begin to replicate what the authentic world seems like, we counsel you feel critically in advance of partaking in them. Improved but, will not have interaction in them at all.

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