There's a new aesthetic emerging on TikTok dubbed the vanilla girl aesthetic. And, if you're having déjà vu, it's likely because you've already seen this style, but with a different name. The dated, yet simple style has been recycled and renamed to become its most problematic self in 2023.
As of writing, #vanillagirl has over 400 million views and #vanillagirlaesthetic has 153 million views, but many of those views may not come from loving fans. The vanilla girl aesthetic is currently facing major backlash. Here's why.
What is the vanilla girl aesthetic?
The vanilla girl aesthetic is a new TikTok trend that embraces neutral colors, minimalism, and coziness. To help you envision it, picture a white Ralph Lauren sweater, a pearl necklace, UGG slippers, beige satin pajamas, a vanilla-scented candle, etc. The trend excludes anything loud or colorful. It's all about flaunting off-white colors. Creme, beige — you name it.
You can incorporate this style into your home as well as let it inspire your outfit.
The problem with the vanilla girl aesthetic:
In the video below, creator Olivia L (@olivialayne6) puts the vanilla girl aesthetic trend on blast and calls out its two major flaws.
- It's been done before
- It's exclusive to white women
“At what point do we hold a community meeting in regards to the constant creation of these quote-on-quote new aesthetics every three to six f--king months?," she asks, adding, "Is that not just the clean girl aesthetic that was created like I don’t know maybe a year ago."
To answer her question, yes. The clean girl and vanilla girl aesthetics are essentially the same. The clean girl aesthetic capitalizes on simple, natural looks, and minimalist outfits devoid of color.
Olivia also points out how the style romanticizes "being a pretty, thin, white woman" — and she's not wrong. Majority of videos under the respective #vanillagirl hashtag feature slender white women trying to encourage others to celebrate this limited color palette — a color palette that is almost identical to their skin tone.
And many creators like Olivia are tired of TikTok users promoting this exclusionary aesthetic.
Olivia ends her video with, “I’m not making fun of this style, I’m just asking how many different ways are y’all going to come up with to say that you like beige.”
Then she hilariously proceeds to list off possible names for whatever title the clean girl/vanilla girl aesthetic will rebrand to next. Think: The tapioca pudding aesthetic or the manila folder aesthetic.
Bottom line: The vanilla girl aesthetic needs to go for more reasons than one. And from the looks of Olivia's comments, TikTok agrees.