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If you’ve spent countless hours on TikTok before, then you know that TikTok trends tend to take over the internet and sometimes end up creating new subgroups of users. TikTok girls don’t all post the same content, but some stars get grouped into a “type” based on their appearance, posting style, and even their mannerisms. In the past, VSCO girls (known for their scrunchies, Hydro Flasks, and puka shell necklaces) went viral and were widely popular among teenagers. However, VSCO girls aren’t the only trendy girls taking over the app. Say hello to the EGirl!
What is an EGirl?
EGirls have become a very popular demographic among girls on TikTok. As a branch off of “emo” subculture, EGirls are mainly known for their signature looks. However, in this case, “e” does not stand for emo, but for “electronic”, referring to the EGirl’s online presence.
Makeup is an iconic and essential part of their look: pink eyeshadow, thick winged eyeliner, and lots of blush. EGirls often use their black eyeliner to draw small hearts under their eyes, or x’s/dots if they’re feeling something different. For the blush, EGirls not only swipe it over their cheeks but on their nose as well, with a touch of highlighter, similar to Japanese makeup trends.
EGirls can also be characterized by their septum piercings, half-up half-down hairstyles, and dyed hair. Often, EGirls can be seen in both green and pink hair dye, or they go for a half-dyed look with half black-colored hair. In terms of style, these TikTok girls are often seen in oversized band T-shirts from Urban Outfitters over black and white long-sleeved striped tops. Sometimes, EGirls don the clothing that they thrifted (probably from Depop), which can be high-waisted pants or A-line skirts.
Some EGirls get their clothing from alternative online fast-fashion retailers like Dolls Kill, which describes itself as an “online boutique for misfits.” Other EGirl staples include mesh T-shirts, colorful hair clips, Sailor Moon skirts, and O-ring collars. When looking into EGirl culture, some aspects of skate culture can also be seen. As an example, many EGirls are known for playing video games, watching anime, and listening to artists such as Billie Eilish or Lil Peep. They mainly communicate with their fans through Discord and their knowledge of internet memes. So, you can think of them as goth or emo girls from the ‘90s, just more self-expressive on social media.
Compared to the VSCO Girl
Last year, the Internet saw a wave of stickered-clad Hydro Flasks and scrunchies galore through the TikTok trend of the VSCO girls. The VSCO girl, whose name comes from the photo-editing app, was the fascination for adults to understand teenage trends.
To explain what a VSCO girl is, we must look at the products she consumes. The “starter pack” of a VSCO girl will likely include a T-shirt so big that it covers the bottom of her shorts, a scrunchie in her hair, a bracelet by the Costa Rica-founded brand Pura Vida, a backpack by the Sweden-based Fjallraven, and a sticker-covered Hydro Flask. The rest of her outfit will be composed of Birkenstock sandals, Burt’s Bees lip balm topped with Glossier gloss, and a puka shell choker.
Unlike other girls on Instagram, VSCO girls exclusively post their feed-worthy shots on their VSCO profiles, which operates as another social networking site. VSCO girls are also known for aggressively quoting dated Twitter memes, such as “and I — oop” and “sksksk”.
vsco girls: pic.twitter.com/7xIMCQyDyX
— alaska 🦋 (@laskarilez) August 10, 2019
TikTok Internet Trends
You’ve seen Kombucha Girl go viral. You’ve seen the “Renegade” dance on The Ellen Show. And you’ve only heard the most popular memes through short videos. That is the power of TikTok trendsetting.
Trends and subcultures were easily born on the Internet, on Instagram, and now on TikTok. For many TikTok users, people can find themselves involved in the mainstream by connecting with others through their clothing, music taste, and signature look. For EGirls and EBoys, these users have defined what is hip and trendy for other teenagers on the app, becoming influencers in their own right. Unlike traditional influencers, EGirls’ popularity comes from their digital personas at home instead of jet-setting every weekend.
For many girls, they look up to EGirls because their personas are relatable and seem easily achievable. On TikTok, where slang words, memes, comedic formats, and dances have gone viral, followings for EGirls have grown into the hundreds of thousands. Like most trends, EGirl fame was born out of memes about getting pulled into “EGirl factories” in which girls are suddenly dressed up like traditional EGirls. Thus, the term entered the TikTok mainstream.
For many EGirls, they relate their fame to the “Tumblr-famous” days of the later 2000s, as the aesthetic can be attributed to older Tumblr aesthetics. “Tumblr was so much less visual, we didn’t get that fashion boom,” says TikTok star Jessica Fisher. “On TikTok, you almost always see the poster themselves, whereas Tumblr offered far more anonymity.” That, in short, is what makes e-girls so different from other subcultures: they live online. When they’re not on TikTok, they spend their time making money through gaming, cosplaying, or building their career through TikTok.
While VSCO girls and EGirls have apparently not yet contributed to significant growth in sales for the products they use, the CEO of VSCO, Joel Flory, says that TikTok trends like these have opened doors for “conversations to take place” in terms of branding and marketing ideas. Even if you don’t take part in TikTok trends, or if you don’t view these subcultures as accurate descriptors of millions of teenage girls, these terms are now a part of the culture’s understanding of Gen Z.