While the “clean girl aesthetic” was once trending on TikTok, despite the controversy surrounding its name, it seems as though there’s been a significant shift across the platform toward a grittier and deliberately more unkempt style.
On Sept. 17, Russian TikTok creator @pusik107 shared a now-viral look at how she and a friend have been making an “abandoned place into our new home.” The “home,” however, appears to be within a dilapidated structure with what some commenters believe to be lead paint and mold on the walls. As of reporting, @pusik107’s 14-second video has more than 14.9 million views and 2.2 million likes.
After discovering the video in question, Akili (@cozyakili) shared his thoughts on the idea behind “squatters core” and the ways in which it has permeated popular culture.
“So I just saw this video of these two girls moving into Chernobyl. I think there’s lead paint on the walls. I’m not totally sure,” he said on Sept. 18. “I was looking through the comments and someone actually called it ‘squatters core,’ and I think that ‘squatters core’ is actually a really good name to describe a lot of the aesthetics that we’ve been seeing recently.”
Kanye West, according to Akili, has adopted this aesthetic, given his decision to forgo footwear as of late.
“Starting with Kanye. I think I’ve been seeing a lot of posts of Kanye running around Italy without shoes on. He also has his wife without shoes,” he added, referencing Bianca Censori. “And I think ‘squatters core’ is a good place to start with trying to define this aesthetic.”
On Aug. 26, Acne Studios unveiled its fall/winter denim campaign starring Kylie Jenner. The sultry shoot aimed to capture “Kylie transformed, stripped back, and undone wearing oversized silhouettes,
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