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the rise of the alternative/indie aesthetic during quarantine

Written By: Jaiden Reive @jaidenreive

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Throughout quarantine different aesthetics have risen everywhere, especially on TikTok. Aesthetics such as cottagecore, dark academia, and kidcore have shown up a lot on TikTok, but none as popular as the indie/alternative aesthetic. It started off with the idea of wanting to be a main character; it became a huge deal if you were the main character or not (criteria included: listening to a paticular band, your horoscope sign, etc). Next came the “Alt TikTok vs straight TikTok” occurrence. This essentially split TikTok into groups, with creators like Tony Lopez and Addison Rae placed on Straight TikTok; which is essentially just doing dances and creating different versions of the “hype house”. Alt TikTok comes in many different variations; film edits, video diaries using the color customizer effect, fashion, music, and art.

Alt TikTok is filled with members of the LGBT+ community and their allies. These have all stemmed into the return of the indie/alternative aesthetic. It can consist of several different style variations, but mainly focuses on the aesthetic of being a main character and experiencing the beauties of a coming of age movie. The style can range anywhere from little shirt and big pants to Doc Martens and flannels. Beyond fashion, film editors are also common throughout Alt TikTok, making edits of shows like Skins and Euphoria, which convey the struggles and highlights of being a teen, referring back to the coming of age trope. They commonly edit movies of widely different aesthetics, making their edits common throughout the genre of tiktok.

Another reason why Alt TikTok is so popular is because of its many subgenres, unlike Straight TikTok which is limited to dancing. Some of the subgenres of Alt TikTok include: Anime TikTok, Cottagecore TikTok, ACNH TikTok, European TikTok, Skins TikTok, LGBT+ TikTok, WitchTok, True Crime TikTok, Frog TikTok, Beans TikTok, Artist TikTok, and even sometimes Political TikTok. All of those genres are put together to make what is known as “Alt TikTok”. Overall, TikTok has brought a new light to the alternative aesthetic and the fashion, music, and films surrounding it.

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