The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Everything’s An Aesthetic

You’re gonna get made fun of either way, might as well do what you want.
Design by Kennedy Woolf

Nowadays you can’t just like something. You either get shoved into a category or aesthetic because of it or get made fun of for it. As a teenage girl myself, I have seen this first hand and experienced it.

There’s a pressure for girls to fit into some sort of box. This can be through media, peer pressure or societal norms. There tends to be narrow definitions of what is considered “acceptable” or “ideal” for girls in terms of appearance, behavior and interests. If they don’t fit into that box on their own, they get put into it anyway.

You have a Stanley or you wear Lululemon, you’re basic. You wear your hair in a slicked back ponytail, you’re the “clean girl.” You wear pink or like dressing up, you’re a girly girl or coquette. You wear “too much” black, you’re emo. 

And if you’re not being categorized, you’re being made fun of.

When I first started liking Taylor Swift more I got so much crap for it. When I would tell people that I liked her I was told I had no taste. That I was a bandwagon who was just trying to hop on the trend. That I was basic.

There are even entire social media accounts dedicated to making fun of girls. I came across a Tik Tok once of a full grown, adult man making fun of the way teen girls ate watermelon. I went down a rabbit hole watching several of his videos. They were all making fun of the way teenage girls did basically anything. The way they talked, walked and even laughed. I was horrified looking in the comments and seeing loads of teenage boys making jokes and agreeing with him. Seeing and interacting with that kind of content is so damaging. It makes girls feel like they can never do anything right and makes boys think that it’s okay to make fun of people. 

This type of thing isn’t just isolated to the late adolescent years either. When we were younger, the boys would make fun of our hair or our clothes, skirts, dresses, etc. We were told that if a boy is mean to us, that means he likes us. We were taught to correlate being made fun of with a harmless crush or secret admiration that just wasn’t being expressed properly. We were taught to correlate bullying with love.

As we grew older, it was our looks we got made fun of for. Our speech. Our interests. Eventually we start getting on social media and seeing all these influential people wearing the latest designs and wearing makeup. So we start wearing the latest designs and wearing makeup. Then we get made fun of for it. Or we get made fun of for wearing certain clothes or wearing “too much” or “not enough” makeup. 

One reason we face these criticisms are stereotypes and gender expectations. These gender expectations impose the idea that certain interests or hobbies are for boys. For example, football, certain bands like The Beatles or Nirvana, or video games. These stereotypes are very limiting. They force people into feeling like they can only express interest in certain hobbies that are correlated with their gender. Then when a girl likes these things she gets ridiculed. Asked to prove she actually knows anything about it. Called a pick me. 

As the time passes, girls are increasingly being judged for the things they do and like. We see influencers and models online portraying these different looks and aesthetics. We adapt these looks into our wardrobe. And then later on get ridiculed when it gets popular. 

As a society we need to stop imposing these limited beliefs and stereotypes. We should be able to like what we want without fear of being mocked. However, until we can get to that point, you’re probably gonna get some sort of backlash no matter what you do, so you might as well do what you want.  


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