Becky Aesthetic Column

I have a really wide variety of interests.

Plenty of these hobbies, music genres and other forms of media I’m really into have definitely been accumulated during an intense phase of obsession with a particular thing during my life. But others I have just gotten into out of boredom and/or wanting to learn and expose myself to something new.

I really struggle to describe my taste in music. When I say I’ll listen to whatever, I mean it. In an icebreaker in class last semester, we had to list our top three bands or artists. I said Florence and the Machine, David Bowie and The Front Bottoms — all of which are drastically different. I have favorite artists and bands from I think just about every major genre, except for like Christian rock if that counts. That’s just not my vibe.

My friend was interviewing people for a project during the initial spread of the coronavirus in the United States to see how they were coping with and being affected by quarantine. She said I was a severe outlier in her data, because I was the only person who was filling my time with so many different activities like painting, playing guitar, writing, yoga, watching movies and reading.

But I don’t think any of this makes me special or unique. Everyone has a wide variety of interests and likes a lot of different music and movies. But, I think the internet has created a culture that makes us feel the need to box ourselves into one certain aesthetic.

On social media, we tend to create a picture of ourselves that we want to project to the world. Of course, we want to portray a good version of ourselves for others to see online. This is present in themes for our Instagram feeds and specific aesthetics on our Twitter profiles.

And I think since my days of being on Tumblr in 2012, this tendency to create an aesthetic online has been translated to real life. Many people are constantly internally defining themselves as having a specific aesthetic and vibe, and feel the need to fit into this through their appearance, interests and music taste.

But we aren’t an Instagram feed that you can characterize with specific colors and cute pictures for highlights on stories. We are obviously human beings with a huge variety of interests and passions.

Since I guess I’m in a phase where I relate literally everything to TikTok, there was a slight TikTok trend for a while where people would say there are categories for different aesthetics and vibes for people. These categories were described solely with a set of about five or six emojis.

As someone who heavily contributes to TikTok staying in business every day, I still loved this trend (as I do with practically every other trend).

But, I didn’t understand why some people would categorize themselves as one of these aesthetics, and then make content about how they felt like they couldn’t wear certain things — even if they wanted to — because it didn’t fit their aesthetic.

Being a person is so fun. And it really isn’t that serious. I am sort of an optimistic nihilist in the sense that I don’t think anything about life really matters, so this is why we should all just have a good time and express ourselves however we want to.

I love being alive, and everything that comes with it. Clothes and makeup and expressing myself literally however I want is so much fun. Music is super great, so why wouldn’t I want to experience as much of it — and as large of a variety of it — as possible?

I think there’s little reason to ever be truly bored, because there are so many random hobbies that are cheap or free you can pick up. Though there is often little follow-up for me with some of these hobbies, I still like trying different things.

I constantly feel like there’s not enough time for me to do everything I’m interested in. I was particularly annoyed during this past fall semester that we have to sleep, because it prevents me from being able to do literally anything else.

More people need to embrace how much fun living is and stop labeling themselves as a specific aesthetic to prevent themselves from fully experiencing things. Dress literally however you want, listen to as much music as you can, watch as many movies as you can and try to pick up new hobbies. I promise I like living much more this way than I did when I tried to adopt the 2012 Tumblr aesthetic.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.