TikTok's "Mermaidcore" Aesthetic Takes Users Under the Sea

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Jan. 20 2023, Published 5:26 p.m. ET

It seems like every week, users on TikTok have created another aesthetic to fit their creative needs. For those who have been keeping count, so far, there's been a number of aesthetics like "Dark Academia," "Coastal Grandmother," "Cottagecore," and "Rockstar Girlfriend." Thankfully, most of the aesthetics are comprised of common items found in users' closets, just rearranged to desired effect.

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Now, however, users are taking their fashion sense to a little more fantastical place with the creation of the "Mermaidcore" TikTok aesthetic. But we can't quite unpack the trend based on name alone. What is the "Mermaidcore" trend? Keep reading for everything you need to know.

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What is the "Mermaidcore" aesthetic trend on TikTok?

The tenants of "Mermaidcore" rely heavily on — you guessed it — mermaids or the popular idea of what mermaids look like. Iridescent, silver, or otherwise watery colors in clothing or makeup are a must. Braids and fishtail hairstyles, accompanied by beachy or wet-appearing waves, are also frequent trend staples. Layered or ruffled dresses in see-through, silk or sheer materials are also a must, especially with beaded pearl details.

Additional "Mermaidcore" characteristics include heavy jewelry, especially jewelry that incorporates sea elements such as sea glass, pearls, or seashells; netted material skirts or tops; and occasionally "siren" eye makeup, which features lining the eyes in black to achieve a sleek look.

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"Mermaidcore" appeared to pop up online as early as October 2021, per Entertainment Tonight. The trend's darker sister, "Sirencore," became popularized in November 2022, per NSSG Club, when the "siren eyes" eye makeup trend became an alternative to smokey or doe-eyed makeup. "Sirencore" is also sometimes referred to as the "Dark Mermaid" look, which features more deliberately messy makeup and darker-colored clothing.

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Film references that could be attributed to the "Mermaidcore" or "Sirencore" aesthetic include Aquamarine, The Little Mermaid (and its upcoming live-action equivalent), Splash, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Mermaids. Television shows that fit the aesthetic labels include H20: Just Add Water, Siren, and Mako Mermaids.

One user, @ashleyasapp, posted a TikTok to help those who are interested in "Mermaidcore" to better get into the trend. She used examples from her closet, saying, "I got this belt for five dollars, but you can definitely get a belt and put little trinkets on it, little shells, things like that."

It seems like no matter what age you are, anyone can enjoy the magic of dressing like a mermaid once in a while!

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