What first comes to mind when you think of the “e-girl” or “e-boy” aesthetics? For me, the word that immediately jumps to the forefront is TikTok. Scrolling through the wildly popular social networking platform is actually the first time I had ever encountered the phrase e-boy or e-girl.

E-boys, in my view, constitute TikTok-influencer heartthrobs who continually post thirst-trap videos wearing goth, indie or pop-punk-like attire. Names like Jaden Hossler, Vinny Hacker and Chase Hudson — better known as Lil Huddy — thoroughly represent this.

After much research, I’ve found the e-girl or e-boy aesthetic was not something that originated on TikTok but rather a fashion subculture that has existed for a decade. The “E” stands for ‘electronic,’ contrary to my original thought that it stood for ‘emo.’

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The e-girl is more of an aesthetic or idea rather than an actual style set for an individual, meaning you probably aren’t going to run into a full on e-girl on the street. It’s more of an online presence or way of being rather than a real style. Nonetheless, I’ve tried my best to recreate a stereotypical modern e-girl look so that you don’t have to.

After aimlessly scrolling through TikTok and reading up on articles about the history of the e-girl aesthetic, I’ve come to envision what style attributes make up an e-girl. There is no one path to creating an e-girl look but rather an all-encompassing combination of cosplay, skate and hip-hop culture, goth, anime and pop-punk styles. Though, having colorful hair is somewhat essential.

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Luckily for me, I have a lavender purple, bob cut wig from my Halloween costume stowed away in my closet. I styled the wig with two mini pigtails on each side of my head. For the outfit, I paired black fishnet stockings underneath a high waisted black leather mini skirt and a striped purple and white crop top.

I accessorized with silver chained choker necklaces and a few silver staple rings, in addition to Doc Marten combat boots. The most challenging aspect of completing the look is arguably the most important — the makeup! I turned to Dolls Kill, an alternative fashion brand catering to young women, for inspiration. For the eye look, I kept the lavender theme with a bright purple eyeshadow and the staple e-girl thick-winged eyeliner. My makeup almost resembled a Raggedy-Ann doll with bright, intense pink blush and lots of bottom lash mascara. Lastly, I topped it all off with little black hearts drawn on my cheeks.

Though the e-girl aesthetic is a bit out of my comfort zone, I found it fascinating to learn about how this fashion subculture came to be and what it stands for today. Maybe TikTok isn’t so bad after all.