The 2014 Tumblr girl is back
POV: It’s the year 2014. My trips to and from school are rated by The 1975, Halsey, the xx, Lorde, Two Door Cinema Club, Lana Del Rey, the Kooks, Haim, Twenty One Pilots and the Arctic Monkeys – in other words, bands that I found on Tumblr. On the weekend, I change my eyes with black winged liner and experiment with sharpie pens to make sure they don’t smudge. To top it all off, I wear deliberately ripped opaque tights and cherry red Dr. Martens. My best friend Jillian and I paint black hearts on our cheeks for concerts as a tribute to Marina and the Diamonds’ lyrics “How to Be a Heartbreaker”, “Wear your heart on your cheek / But never on your sleeve / Unless you want to taste a defeat. “
In short, I was trying to be the perfect 2014 Tumblr girl and mimicking our collective soft grunge idols like Effy Stonem from Skins and Aria Montgomery Pretty little liars. While she went out of style in favor of new archetypes like the cheerful VSCO girl and the rise of minimalist, athletic street style (the 2014 Tumblr girl didn’t wear biker shorts and leather blazers), she’s staging a comeback.
The return of 2014 Tumblr girl style comes with a re-appreciation of the indie sleazecore aesthetic that became popular in the early 2000s (think American Apparel ads). Trend cycle analyst Mandy Lee outlined the phenomenon in a viral TikTok. “I imagine indie sleaze as the dissolute older sister of the 2014 Tumblr girl,” she says Fashion. “Indie sleaze was a lot more extravagant; Neon colors, metallic colors, pompous depictions of nightlife, erotic advertising and amateur-style flash photography. This aesthetic emerged when Myspace was founded around 2005 and integrates technology and social media into our everyday lives. On the other hand, the 2014 Tumblr girl was super moody, dark colors, simple silhouettes; she was more of a loner. ”The two styles are gaining traction thanks to content creators and fashionistas reviving their youthful aesthetics. Now the Tumblr girl style is being revisited by its millennial creators, but also by Gen Z, who discovered and changed the trend.
Both indie sleaze and 2014 Tumblr girl styles were materialized through music and girlish rebellion. And both live in a culture of fear and nightlife that has gathered through social media platforms. Indie sleazecore called herself Myspace at Home, while the 2014 Tumblr girl emerged from Tumblr and its online communities focused on indie pop and alternative music. Marta Langston, a style content creator, said on TikTok that if you had the stage in 2014, you probably never really outgrew. I think the “grunge” style in the broader sense will always exist. Tumblr was the first place to romanticize the edgy, mysterious girl with soft dirt. Perhaps it was the first time that more Gothic-inspired styles were accepted as cool, and not just viewed as a stereotype for the social underdogs in high school. “