As you all know by now, TikTok is our go-to for all the newest trends. You may have seen the “clean girl” trend on your FYP as it’s been circulating on TikTok and Instagram, or even noticed celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Haylie Bieber fashioning minimal make-up looks. At first glance, this might appear to be just another beauty craze.
The clean girl aesthetic is coined as the “effortlessly gorgeous” look. Basically, it leans into the whole That Girl trend. The clean girl aesthetic is essentially your “just got out of the shower, and I’m effortlessly gorgeous” look. It encompasses everything from minimal no-makeup-makeup to your home decor (kind of like a bathroom that looks like the inside of a Sephora). Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails have even become the unofficial clean girl manicure.
Videos bearing #clean girl have now gnarred nearly 2 billion views and everyone seems completely enamoured with the look and lifestyle. According to Pinterest, the term “Cleangirl aesthetic” (stet) has spiked 32% in Vancouver alone. In addition to this, related trends that have seen a spike include:
Despite the popularity of this new trend, the concept has been around for decades, first made popular among Black and Brown women – the OGs of slicked-back buns paired with jewelry like gold hoops and dewy skin. So while Hailey Bieber and Bella Hadid may be the poster children for this TikTok trend, let’s remember where it actually originated.
Here’s why the clean girl aesthetic on TikTok is problematic
Many Black and Brown creators, like Amanda Castrillo (above) have taken to the internet to vent their frustrations about the lack of inclusivity and how white women have started a look. Amanda points out how BIPOC women are called “tacky” for wearing the same look which is now popular among white celebrity models.
What does clean girl even mean?
Seriously though… does clean girl imply there’s a “dirty” girl aesthetic? The popular trend makes wearing a face full of makeup and having acne or textured skin seem less desirable. Does having acne, natural hair or even body hair put you in the dirty category?
Bottom Line: I’m not telling you to throw out your claw clips. I’m just saying to question what comes up on your FYP and don’t let it dictate what’s supposed to be on trend. It’s time to consider how we can make the beauty world a space where everyone feels more welcome – which includes being more intentional about the trends we choose to participate in.