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E-girl: What is the trend and how do they dress?

Characteristics include heavy black eyeliner and coloured hair

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Monday 25 November 2019 16:37 GMT
E-girl is the latest internet trend (Stock)
E-girl is the latest internet trend (Stock)

An entire generation came of age on the internet, and high school cliques have morphed into an online phenomenon - creating an entirely new group of subcultures.

Hipsters have been replaced by the VSCO girl, while the characteristics that were once used to label someone “scene” or emo may now be applied to “e-girls”.

As the internet lexicon grows, it can be hard to keep up. This is everything you need to know about e-girls.

What is an e-girl?

E-girls were created, and exist, almost entirely on the internet, with the name just a shortened version of “electronic girl”.

The subculture typically consists of teenagers and those slightly older, and can be defined as people who spend a lot of time on the internet - using platforms such as Twitch, for live-streaming, Instagram, Discord, and most importantly, video app TikTok - to create an online persona.

But while VSCO girls summon imagery of nature and friendship bracelets, e-girls more closely resemble the “scene” trend of the 2000s.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes someone an e-girl, characteristics such as an interest in video games, memes and anime are often common, as are coloured hair and heavy makeup.

Interestingly, the term has recently undergone a change from having a negative connotation to now being used ironically by those who self-identify as “e-girls”.

What do e-girls wear and look like?

Most recognisable about e-girls is their style, which typically includes hair dyed shades of blue, pink, or other colours of the rainbow, and worn in half-pigtails.

The makeup is the most iconic part of the look, with e-girls often choosing heavy black winged eyeliner and bright blush swept across their cheeks and noses.

The look can be completed, and often is, with hand-drawn x’s, hearts or faux freckles.

The typical outfit includes oversized band t-shirts or mesh tops paired with high-waisted pants or plaid skirts.

Colourful hair clips and facial piercings can also be part of the e-girl look, as can a slight but intentional resemblance to Anime characters.

Where did the term come from and how has it changed?

As previously stated, e-girl wasn’t always the ironic identifier it has now become. On Urban Dictionary, early definitions of the word describe females who play video games to lure men in with their “cool girl” personas.

“In short, it’s a misogynist insult born of boys fantasising that girls who share their hobbies are clamouring for their time and energy,” writes BuzzFeed reporter Lauren Strapagiel.

However, in recent years and alongside the rise in popularity of TikTok, teenagers have reclaimed the name and label as a clear indicator of their own popularity, as proven by their thousands of followers.

On Instagram, a search for the hashtag “egirl” results in more than 600,000 posts. On TikTok, where it can be argued the trend started, there are countless videos showing teens transform themselves into e-girls.

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While the term may have started as an insult, female teenagers have managed to embrace the label, turning it into a persona that is both cool and enviable.

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