This page is a list of questions frequently asked about Aesthetics Wiki and aesthetics generally. If you have a question that is not included here, please contact a moderator or post your question to our community blog.
Questions about Aesthetics
What is an aesthetic? Why does everyone always argue about what aesthetics should be on this wiki?
The word "aesthetic" originated as the philosophical discussion about what beauty is, how we should approach it, and why it exists. However, Millennials and Generation Z started using that term as an adjective that describes what they personally consider beautiful. For example: "After Denise finished watching The Virgin Suicides, she said, 'Wow. That was so aesthetic.'"
Aesthetics have now come to mean a collection of images, colors, objects, music, and writings that creates a specific emotion, purpose, and community. It is largely dependent on personal taste, cultural background, and exposure to different pieces of media. This definition is not official and can be debated. There is currently no dictionary definition that captures the complexity of this phenomenon, which arose in the Internet youth. Rather, people who participate in the community "know it when they see it." These elements are constantly debated, as the opinion on whether or not some aesthetics exist or are valid is constantly debated. This is especially true since everyone's own personal life factors into their opinions.
Here is an example of a debate that is going on within the community. Whether or not Lolita is an aesthetic varies on what counts as visual elements. On one hand, lace, petticoats, and bows are valid elements of visual schema. Those elements combine to spark feelings of kawaii, de-sexualization, rebellion, and appreciation of antique. On the other hand, aesthetics are made up of elements other than fashion, such as home decor or music. Fashion is the visual element, rather than the components making up the coord/outfit. That element is part of broader schemas such as Goth and Victorian. What counts as an element and what qualifies as sparking an emotion is a complicated subject. As another example, whether or not Foxcore exists is also debatable. The symbol of a fox and the mythology associated with it has a rich history, but is only a photographic subject without music, clothing, or locations that are not derivative of larger aesthetics such as Naturecore.
So right now, the subject is trying to be defined by the community. What either fits into a larger schema or is distinct enough to warrant its own aesthetic is difficult to say and would depend on who you are asking.
How do I find my aesthetic?
See Helping You Find Your Aesthetic or ask on the Discord server.
Do I have to have only one aesthetic?
No. As aesthetics are largely subjective and individual, there is no right or wrong way to have an aesthetic. You are free to like multiple aesthetics and can keep them separate, mix and match, or change aesthetics as you grow older and develop personally. You can see Blending: Comparable & Contrasting Aesthetics to see the different ways in which you can blend the aesthetics in a pleasing way.
My personality and interests are completely different from others within the aesthetic community. Should I still have the aesthetic?
The answer to this question varies by respondent.
In our opinion as moderators, however, it is completely acceptable to have qualities that do not typically match the others' in the community. You can exclude any of the things that do not align with your interests and can blend with an aesthetic that does or keep it completely separate. Trying to conform to a clique would only cause negative feelings and suppress yourself. However, lifestyle-oriented aesthetics such as Cottagecore often center around activities that match a way of life, so it is also a possibility that you only appreciate the aesthetic on others rather than yourself, or that you should impose visual qualities such as materials and textures, prints, and decor on your personal hobbies and daily functions. See Blending: Comparable & Contrasting Aesthetics.
As an example, you can appreciate the Dark Academia aesthetic yet hate studying. You can wear tweed and decorate your room while doing the activities that you actually like. You may be slightly excluded from the community that shares study tips and literary analyses, but you can still enjoy the visual tropes.
What is a moodboard? How do I create a moodboard?
A moodboard is one of the most reliable ways to gauge your aesthetic and allows you to be focused when it comes to understanding your color scheme, common motifs, and "vibe." It is a collection of images, either laid out in a grid, edited like a magazine page, or in a collage with transparent images. They are arranged in a manner that looks aesthetically pleasing through understanding Colour Theory, cohesiveness, and Blending: Comparable & Contrasting Aesthetics.
Here are some basic steps for creating a moodboard:
- Find a collection of images. This is typically done through Pinterest, tumblr, Google Images (although most subjects will be quite plain), and other various image collecting sites. Be sure to use images that have diverse subjects, such as fashion, animals, home decor, models, objects, etc.
- Pare down the ones that do not fit. They can be too similar to a better image, be in a clashing color, etc.
- Use a photo editor to arrange the images. These include Canva, Adobe Spark, LINE Camera, Crello, etc.
Questions about the Wiki
This community had a much more freer, welcoming, and relaxed tone. What happened?
As the aesthetic phenomenon is growing in popularity, the administrators want to make it clear that aesthetics are a deep and valid movement that has justifiable boundaries between each aesthetic. As such, we are becoming a bit more stricter in what pages qualify, cleaning up, formatting, and asking intelligent questions. We are welcoming to beginners and people who want to share aesthetic ideas, but reading the FAQ, Creating an Ideal Page, and Helping You Find Your Aesthetic are necessary to understand this wiki's standards and the phenomenon. When you think of a larger wiki community like Wikipedia, TVTropes, and Star Wars Wiki, you place trust in those wikis because they are moderated well, a good source of information, and rich with citations, examples, and details. We want to have this same level of quality so that people can find good information and it is clear that the contributors and moderation team have knowledge about the subject.
Who is FairyPage and why is she banned? Why did 300 aesthetics disappear for a day?
FairyPage is the creator of Aesthetics Wiki. She returned after a 5 month hiatus and wrote a post on her blog detailing various complaints about the current state of the wiki, which can be read here. She then deleted 300 pages, many of which have now been restored, including the entire Kei suffix, Skinheads, Chaotic Academia, and Halloween. These actions were unexpected and many mods disagreed with her choices, which were done without any negotiation or discussion. This qualifies as vandalism, and she has been consequently banned for one month.
Please do not harass her. While the mods do not agree with her actions, she should not suffer for a mistake that can easily be undone.
We agree with some of her contentions. Specifically, we believe that there need to be more and better categorical systems than alphabetical, and that many pages on this Wiki are about concepts too loose to qualify as an aesthetic. It is not her complaints, but rather the methods she used to solve the issues that led to her temporary ban. The removal of pages, approach to art history periods, music genres, and fashion subcultures are being discussed on the Aesthetics Wiki Discord server.
The wiki is above all a community effort. While it is true that the definition of aesthetics varies from person to person, there must be compromise, discussion, and even sacrifice when deciding which aesthetics are valid or not. This applies to everyone; administrators and moderators who abuse their power and unjustly impose their ideas on others will be banned.
We are a publication, research group, company, etc. that wants to interview you for the purposes of news, anthropology, business analysis, etc. Who do we contact?
Contact any of the moderators or administrators via email, Discord messaging, or wiki message boards.
Why are controversial aesthetics such as Traumacore and Fashwave on this Wiki? Do the mods promote these ideas?
The Aesthetics Wiki is an impartial source. We are here to provide information only. The moderators are not the arbiters of morality and will acknowledge any aesthetics if they exist. We also include a section describing why the aesthetic is controversial and the risks of being involved in trauma- and politics-based aesthetics. If you are sensitive to these subjects, there are browser extensions that filter out potentially triggering content.
Why was my page deleted?
Your page does not meet the standards that are required for pages on this Wiki. We delete pages for various reasons. Contact a moderator if you do not know why your page was deleted or if you want to appeal the decision.
Our requirements for new pages can be viewed on Creating an Ideal Page.
Can I make a page for my personal aesthetic?
Yes. Note that this answer may change; the Aesthetics Wiki moderators are debating whether or not to accept pages exclusively dedicated to personal aesthetics.
All pages must meet current standards for new pages. These include:
- The guidelines delineated under Creating an Ideal Page.
- Consistency with the format of existing pages. We use formatting similar to other Wikis and Wikipedia pages.
- Differentiation from existing aesthetics. The aesthetic focus of your page should be recognizably distinct from all existing aesthetics. If your aesthetic is inspired by existing aesthetics, at least one aspect should be significantly and obviously different. These aspects can include, but are not limited to, philosophy, color palette, time period, fashion, and visual focus.
Pages that do not meet these standards may be deleted or relocated.
Please understand that the pages on this Wiki are not to be used for self-promotion. If you are the originator of the aesthetic, your name should be included as a Creator; however, self-praise and links to social media are discouraged unless they are relevant to the aesthetic. Including these may result in the deletion of your page.