2014-era tumblr is an aesthetic that became popular during the mid-2010s on the eponymous website. Despite calling themselves grunge, their aesthetic was fairly popular in the mainstream and connected to the rise of the Alternative, emo, pop, and indie music and fashion trends of the time, such as galaxy print, black and white grids, and fandom merchandise. Because of their close-knit community on tumblr, they developed a "not-like-other-girls" attitude, especially in contrast with the "hipsters" (which is more accurately described as an early version of VSCO). The type of media they consumed was also incredibly specific, with fangirl culture and this aesthetic often overlapping. This style later declined, yet has gained short-term popularity in 2020 due to a desire to escape to the past.[1]


Visual

  • Band posters, cover art, and merchandise
  • Black and white edits of movies and TV shows
  • Beverages such as coffee and water in attractive packaging
  • Cigarettes
  • Daria, a cartoon with sarcastic teenaged protagonists
  • Graffiti
  • "Ironic" edits of characters with flower crowns
  • Japanese Kanji
  • Lyrics and quotes in simple fonts over solid or gridded backgrounds
  • Pictures of teens in matching outfits goofing off
  • Polaroid photographs hung from a garland
  • Rolling eyes
  • Simplistic illustrations of planets and stars
  • Succulents and cacti
  • Technology such as iPhones and headphones
  • Vaporwave gifs done in black and white


Fashion

A starter pack.jpg

The style associated with 2014-era tumblr has a very defined color palette in that it is typically monochrome or pastel, depending on personal preference. Japanese fashion, early 2000s emo, and more authentic grunge influenced the style, which has outfits that were incredibly specific, almost formulaic. Unlike grunge or the DIY ethos of other alternative fashions, these pieces were typically bought brand new at mall stores such as American Apparel and Hot Topic. Despite the term "tumblr girl" being the most popular term, men can wear the aesthetic too. Amusingly, these outfits are now associated with bisexuals, who likely used tumblr in their youth. Typical fashion pieces include:

  • Band and fandom printed t-shirts
  • T-shirts printed with patterns popular at that time, such as galaxy, horizontal stripes, and black and white grids
  • Plain black and white t-shirts
  • Flannels
  • Denim jackets
  • Cuffed jeans
  • Ripped jeans
  • Black skinny jeans (typically associated with the Hot Topic emo fans)
  • Pleated tennis skirts
  • Fishnet tights
  • Knee socks
  • Converse sneakers
  • Combat boots
  • Black plastic chokers and bracelets
  • Beanies
  • Flower crowns

Typical hair/makeup looks include:

  • Dyed hair
  • Space buns
  • "Emo" fringes (extreme side part)
  • Eyeliner


Media

"At least here on the internet, we have each other and no one's judging you" is a quote by danisnotonfire. It is a great example of the community aspect of tumblr, the importance of "relatability," and the belief that tumblr is separate from "normal" society.

The media that tumblr girls consumed typically does not portray their aesthetic, but contains songs that match their music tastes, have "quirky" characters, and motifs of youth and relatability. Multiple movies/TV shows/books come from fandom tumblr, which was often maintained on blogs separate from the aesthetic ones but operated by the same person. In the mid-2010s, vlog-style YouTubers, YA novels following either the dystopian or secret magical world subgenres, and shipping male characters together became trendy and found a following within the site.

Books

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • John Green's works
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Movies

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

YouTubers

  • AmazingPhil/Phil Lester
  • danisnotonfire/Daniel Howell (he also wears a male version of the tumblr girl aesthetic)
  • Troye Sivan
  • Tyler Oakley


Music

In another contrast with true grunge, tumblr girls tended to listen to music that quickly became played on mainstream radio and had a more indie-pop sound.

Musicians

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Bastille
  • Fall Out Boy
  • 5SOS (Five Seconds of Summer)
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Foster the People
  • Halsey
  • Lana del Rey
  • Lorde
  • Melanie Martinez
  • MGMT
  • My Chemical Romance
  • Panic! at the Disco
  • The Neighborhood
  • The 1975
  • The XX
  • Troye Sivan (who gained some popularity prior to his music career because of his YouTube vlogs)
  • Twenty-One Pilots
  • Vampire Weekend


Playlists

2014 tumblr phase

2014 tumblr but it's 2020

tumblr 2012

middle school alternative emo depressed tumblr girl


Gallery

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