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The new trend: “e-girls” and “e-boys

The new trend: "e-girls" and "e-boys
   Reading time: 4 Minutes

The modern world has already survived many a trend wave. Choker chains in the 90s, bell-bottoms in the 80s. But as the saying goes: history repeats itself, and so do fashion and trends. So now the choker necklaces come into fashion for the third time, but now in a, let’s say, completely different form and in a different context.

We are talking about “e-girls” and “e-boys”, a scene that is not yet very well known, but is currently experiencing an enormous upswing.

What are e-girls/e-boys?

These are young people who stand out due to their special aesthetics and their pronounced use of “new” media, such as Instagram/TikTok/Twitch. In this case, however, the E in the name does not stand for “Emotional” but for “Electric,” which is due to the heavy use of electronic media.

The history of the trend scene

The term “e-girl” was first given a definition in 2009, albeit an extremely negative one. At that time, the term “e-girl” was considered a defamation for women who were interested in gaming, for example. To this day, it is still an insult in some circles, a pejorative form of “gamer girl.”

Young women concerned turned this insult into ridicule over time and use it full of self-irony for themselves.  This did not put the term “e-girl” in a positive light, but it was trivialized and no longer seen and used as an insult by today’s young generation.

What characterizes “e-girls” and “e-boys”?

Many “e-girls” and “e-boys” create an image of themselves on social networks, especially on TikTok and Instagram, that in very few cases matches their everyday reality. In contrast to “normal” influencers, who achieve their reach primarily with travel and material things, aesthetics are the absolute focus in this scene. Anime and gaming are merely accessories that are meant to complement and complete the overall picture.

The cynical conclusion from this is that they look good and have an online presence!

Their style: a mix of elements from punk, emo, goth, grunge and metal, combined with flashy accessories, lovely lingerie, tattoos, piercings, brightly colored hair and exaggerated makeup. All of this combined with image and color filters makes for the anime-like look.

While they place an incredible amount of emphasis on appearances, their presence can only be found on social media, as TikTok and Instagram give them a “venue” for their second personality. 

Why “second personality?” It’s simple: the trend is mostly lived exclusively in private, so the “e-girls” and “e-boys” hide behind normal clothes and everyday duties. Sure, the very famous ones in the scene are now living it in public, but the majority are not, hence “Second Personality!”

Where does the trend come from?

The popularity is mainly due to social media, which allows those to spread their videos and images worldwide. The trend is probably due to the mix and incorporation of various popular pop culture themes: anime, emo rap, second-hand fashion, and memes. For this very reason, it is not easy to distinguish the trend from others. After all, many young artists, among them Billie Eilish, wear old band shirts combined with colored hair; moreover, online presence has long ceased to be a rarity these days.

Another cynical conclusion: In principle, everyone can and could be an “e-girl”/”e-boy”!

However, what many followers of this direction have in common: The withdrawal into their own four walls. They don’t need festivals, hip bars or other public meeting places to present themselves; they exchange ideas online, produce videos for Twitch or TikTok.

Typical characteristics of an “e-girl”:

  • Pink colored cheeks and nose tip
  • Pointed eyeliner
  • Colorful hair clips
  • Tattoo stamps with hearts or other motifs
  • Plaid or striped clothing
  • Necklaces, choker necklaces and other eye-catching accessories
  • Completely or partially dyed hair in bright colors

Characteristics of an “e-boy”:

  • 90s boy band look paired with grunge and gothic elements
  • Black or colorful dyed hair
  • Black nail polish
  • Striped tops, boots/skater shoes
  • Necklaces and flashy rings or earrings
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