The meaning of the term
The term e-girl (literally - "electronic girl") appeared in 2009 and was initially considered derogatory. According to the Urban Dictionary of English slang, this was the name given to gamers and streamers who tried to attract viewers to their Twitch and YouTube channels through their eccentric and sexy appearance. Over time, many of them began not only to flirt with users in order to increase views of live broadcasts of computer games, but also to send out nude photos for money. In 2013, the Urban Dictionary redesignated e-girl as a girl of low moral standards - as Vox wrote, "it was like calling someone corrupt and lascivious."
That all changed thanks to TikTok, a Chinese social network that lets you share short music videos. In 2019, it became one of the most downloaded apps in the world, surpassing Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and attracting a huge number of advertisers - from fashion houses to chewing gum manufacturers. To gain popularity on TikTok and enter into partnerships with global brands (or by integrating services to advertise their profile on Instagram), users grimace at the camera, act out dialogues from films and transform into various characters - including e-girl. "Maybe this way I can get your attention and finally get more likes?" - asked the desperate, drawing hearts under their eyes, applying blush on their cheeks and trying on ultra-short skirts and multi-colored wigs.
The image turned out to be so vivid that it quickly spread and was parodied by those who did not even know the original meaning of the term. TikTok even had a separate hashtag #Efactorygirl, under which the girls posted the same type of videos with their transformations from ordinary teenagers into a mixture of Billie Eilish, Sailor Moon and Nabokov's Lolita. In February 2019, YouTube blogger MyNameIsBelieve combined the most interesting images into a five-minute video "egirl / eboy tiktok compilation". By the end of the year, more than 600 thousand people watched it.
Today's definition of e-girl style in the Urban Dictionary already sounds like this: “a kind of emo, common on the platforms TikTok and Tumblr. They can be recognized by their pink eyeshadow, small hearts under the eyes, large arrows, and a red nose. They usually wear street-brand T-shirts over a long sleeve and dance to the TeddyLoid song "Me! Me! Me!" Themselves e-girls position themselves as "girls who create Internet content and look original and alternative." When asked to whom they oppose themselves, e-girls answer like this: "Glamorous instamodels".
A kind of emo
E-girls really look like emo: short skirts, striped longsleeves, brightly eyed eyes and hair of unnatural, mostly pink, shades. However, unlike the 2007 subculture, Gen Z dresses up purely for content creation. Vox describes e-girl as “a phenomenon that exists mainly in the privacy of her own bedroom”: in real life, they are ordinary teenagers in unremarkable clothes - a parka bought from Urban Outfitters and a hat that her grandmother forced to wear.
Despite the fact that the meaning of the term has changed, the attitude towards the phenomenon has remained the same. Users far from TikTok continue to insult, shame and not accept e-girls, which the girls themselves began to talk about en masse last summer. The reason for the revelation was the death of one of the most popular TikTok users - 17-year-old Bianca Devins. She was killed by her acquaintance, 21-year-old Brandon Andrew Clark, as it became known after he posted photos of the bloody body on the Web. In contrast to the violent content, teens began to post images of cats, flowers and teddy bears, and at the same time share their experiences under the hashtag #RIPBianca. “Learning about Bianca was awful,” Ashley Eldridge told e-girl. “I worry that things like this happen all the time. I'm afraid,that someone would recognize me in real life and start persecuting me."
However, not all bloggers think the way Ashley does. Bella McFadden, 22, known on Instagram and YouTube under the nickname internetgirl, is not afraid to go out of her bedroom in bright looks. Her short skirts, low-cut tops, acid wigs and dresses, like Natalie Portman in the movie "Intimacy", also appear in urban locations. 360 thousand subscribers for the courage.
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E-girl and e-boy style
On the search query "e-girls", Google first of all gives out a link to the Japanese music group of the same name, which appeared long before the spread of the subculture - in 2010. However, bloggers from TikTok have nothing to do with them, but they are very similar to another symbol of the nation - the anime character Sailor Moon. This is evidenced by the two tails tied on the head and a crescent moon painted on the forehead, to which the girls choose less infantile things: a long sleeve shirt with a Breton strip, a plaid skirt, a T-shirt with loud slogans, as well as leather boots and bright leggings. To attract special attention, e-girls use chains, chokers, studded belts and bracelets - in general, anything that can clink to the beat of the music of 6IX9INE and Lil Peep.
1. Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang Bodysuit
2. Maria Black Earrings
3. Manokhi Elastic Band
4. Philosophy Di Lorenzo Belt
5. Unravel Project Skirt
6. Gucci Choker
7. Philosophy Di Lorenzo Smartphone Case
8. Tezenis Knee High Socks
9. Dr boots … Martens
There are much fewer representatives of the subculture among young men. On TikTok, you can recognize them by their denim overalls, soiled sneakers, trousers with roomy pockets, and a Timothy Chalamet-style hairstyle. They tame loose curls with a beanie, plain baseball cap or pink panama, usually bought from street brands such as Stüssy, The North Face and Ripndip. Some e-boys also drop into the beauty department for hair dyes, eyeliners and nail polishes. Applying them, practically without looking at the camera, has already become a trend in TikTok.
1. Stüssy hat
2. Coup De Coeur necklace
3. Ripndip T-shirt
4. Champion bag
5. Heron Preston trousers
6. St. Friday Socks
7. Golden Goose Sneakers
8. Moji Power Portable Battery