Is this the end of the clean girl aesthetic?

We’re all entering our cool – and messy – girl era.

By Laina Claydon

Friday, 9th of June 2023

The internet appears to have chosen its newest It Girl. 

Alix Earle is a 22 year-old US-based TikTok creator and college student living with friends in Miami. She is one of the fastest growing creators on the platform, and is known for her chaotic ‘get ready with me’ (GRWM) videos – and for never turning down a party. 

Boasting over 5.3M followers, Alix Earle’s GRWM-style of video offers a good insight into the lifestyle she leads, which includes a lot of partying and travelling. As her follower count has grown and engagement increased, she has taken part in big brand trips – all whilst finishing her college degree. And yes, she can be found doing an exam at a beach with friends on holiday.

@alixearle Update: outfit took 2 hours i had a breakdown and almost didnt go . 😭👍🏼 #umiami #grwm #ootd ♬ original sound - alix earle

Something her followers love is that Alix Earle has always kept it real in her videos, often getting ready in her messy bedroom or regaling stories of when she was out partying the night before, and sharing her drunk TikTok drafts. She has also been incredibly candid about her journey with acne and kept her audience updated on her accutane journey. 

Some say she’s like the real-life Serena Vanderwoodson, the character played by Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. Both have the same unbrushed hair, last night’s clothes and way of living. Many have also said Serena ‘is the blueprint’ of the ‘messy girl aesthetic’.

So, is this the end of the clean girl aesthetic

Blake Lively as Serena Vanderwoodson

The messy girl aesthetic is the complete antithesis to the clean girl look, which is all about embracing a seemingly casual but also minimalist and effortless lifestyle and beauty. The hashtag #messygirlaesthetic is currently sat at 20.6M views vs #cleangirlaesthetic’s 4.1B views. It might not be as many, but it’s certainly on the rise.

As if there aren’t enough trends to keep up with already, there’s also the ‘French girl beauty’ trend that has been featured in the likes of Vogue, which is all about being undone and effortless. The hashtag #frenchbeauty currently has 67.2M views. Want to achieve the ‘messy’ French girl makeup look yourself? Watch this. 

These trends aren’t really anything new but they are relevant again. Remember Kate Moss in the 90s and early 2000s with her smudged makeup and undone hair? Showing it’s back in fashion, she recently brought back her iconic messy bedhead hair at the Met Gala last month.

Another example of the ‘undone’ look was showcased in the Miu Miu Fall Winter 2023 fashion show, where they debuted models with messy, frazzled unbrushed hair. They were described as ‘strutting down the runway with fastidious confidence, frazzled but possessed with purpose’. Their purpose being ‘beyond getting dressed for the day. So rushed that they accidentally tucked their prim, buttoned-up cardigans into their pantyhose and didn’t have time to smooth their unkempt hair’.

As Dazed says, ‘hair that’s a little bit messy has never been cooler’.