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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Everycore: The obsession with categorizing fashion

The+exaggeration+of+niche+style+aesthetics+is+creating+an+expectation+to+fit+into+a+singular+category%2C+even+when+fully+involving+oneself+is+near+impossible.
Jae Jepsen
The exaggeration of niche style aesthetics is creating an expectation to fit into a singular category, even when fully involving oneself is near impossible.

Have you ever dreamt of being a mermaid? Do you aspire to have the style of a Barbie? Are you intrigued by the idea of space and the future? No matter your niche interest, there is always an internet aesthetic for you thanks to the rise of fashion “cores.”

While there’s always been variety among trends, the wide range of different styles now is unlike anything before. New aesthetics can be inspired by media, trending pieces and even by adding twists to other aesthetics. Take “Barbiecore,” which became a trend just as the new Barbie movie entered the media.

There’s an element of romanticization to having a fashion “core” as well. It’s a lot more fun to say you dress Mermaid Core than to describe wearing beachy clothes with elements of seashells and iridescence. Every day just feels a little more special if your style is “Romcom Core.”

Junior Celia Brown noted that aesthetics can serve as motivation, comparing them to other ways people attempt to make their daily lives more interesting, “It’s like how people romanticize their homework through the ‘Rory Gilmore’ or ‘dark academia’ aesthetic,” she said.

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However, really fitting a style is often unattainable. It often seems like influencers constantly emulate an aesthetic in their daily life, wearing their own niche clothing no matter what they do or where they go. For someone who works mainly with social media, this may be possible, but for others it just isn’t realistic.

An average person, however, simply can’t dress like a mermaid or Barbie doll. If someone showed up to their office job decked out in sequined sheer clothes, people would look at them as if they were insane. 

On top of this, there’s a socio-economic aspect. Curating your wardrobe with such intention is only possible for those who can afford it, especially when the trends come and go faster than the weather. For most people, real life calls for a much broader and more versatile style of dress, one that can’t be confined to a category. 

The desire to belong to an aesthetic contributes to this new hyperspecificity. Any person can categorize their personal style as an aesthetic by adding a descriptor to the word “core.” For those who don’t fit an already established aesthetic, this can make them feel included in the trend, and even create entire communities of people who have a similar style. 

Sophomore Maddie Sierk has formulated her own aesthetic. “I would describe my own style as an artsy, environmentally aware fairy,” Sierk described, explaining that it doesn’t necessarily fit a predetermined category, “I like what I like, and there isn’t really a rhyme or reason to it.”

Brown has a hard time describing her own style, but understands the appeal of fitting into one distinct core. “It’s almost like taking a personality quiz where you choose which ‘core’ or aesthetic you most align with based on your everyday life and style,” she shared.

To take this “personality quiz,” one might turn to the aesthetics wiki , an exhaustive website detailing any aesthetic you can imagine. It also serves as the perfect example of hyperspecificity among aesthetics. Their A-Z list includes options such as “bookstore girl,” “forest punk,” “honeycore” and numerous others. 

Categorizing one’s personal style as a “core” isn’t a bad thing, and doesn’t hurt anyone. If you prefer to say you dress gardencore, that’s simply an expression of yourself. What’s most important to remember is that an aesthetic doesn’t have to be comprehensive. After all, the point of fashion is simply to wear what makes you happy. 

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About the Contributor
Jae Jepsen, Editor-in-Chief
Jae Jepsen is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and is thrilled to serve as 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief for the Spartan Shield Online! In past years, she has written for the Boston Terrier at Boston University's Summer Journalism Institute, worked as Copy Editor online, and been print News Editor. Outside of journalism, Jae is the Vice President Out-of-House for the PV Drama Officer Board, and participates in theatre both on and off stage. She has been a representative on Spartan Assembly throughout all of high school. After graduation, Jae hopes to major in journalism and pursue a career in the field.
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Everycore: The obsession with categorizing fashion