Aesthetics Wiki

Lobotomy Chic is an aesthetic that focuses on exploring femininity through meta-irony, detachment and nihilism. It is also heavily influenced by different early 2000s aesthetics such as Indie Sleaze and Americana, as well as Tumblr nostalgia from the early 2010s. It is mostly used by girls who feel empowered by detaching from reality and acting as though apathetic and mysterious.

The name was coined by writer Rayne Fisher-Quann on her article “The cult of the dissociative pout”. The term is a combination of “Heroin Chic” which glamourizes an unhealthy and deathly, detached style, and "Lobotomy" - a procedure that was executed on mental patients during the 1950s and caused them to act mentally detached and out of place. Many lobotomy-chic girls jokingly state how they need to get this procedure, pointing at the aesthetic’s twisted-dark-humor nature.

What distinguishes this aesthetic from other online-feminine aesthetics is the focus on apathy and “not caring” as a means of being powerful and attractive; instead of characterizing yourself as a strong, bossy woman (for example, like the waif aesthetic) or contrary to that, showing femininity through being delicate and soft, the lobotomy chic aesthetic doesn’t practice either, and instead its main goal is to come across as broad and undefinable as possible; you act uninterested and unbothered to maintain the same performance of powerfulness and independence but in a different manner. As Fisher-Quann writes: ”[Lobotomy-chic] still cares about being sexy, but knows there’s nothing sexy about caring too much. And in times of discord, chaos, and fear, a cultural descent into nihilism makes sense.”[1]


Fiona apple lobotomy

Fiona Apple is also considered an influence on this aesthetic, both musically and visually.

Due to its focus on broadness and obscurity, it's hard to precisely define the aesthetic visually, though it is recognizable due to its tendency to appear "niche". Usually, lobotomy-chic references 90s, early 2000s, and even early 2010s aesthetics, by the use of flash photography, wearing messy/no makeup, preppy clothes styled in an unorganized manner, and Catholic/Christian symbolism (mostly used ironically). The visuals of this aesthetic will mostly focus on places/fashion/pictures that feel "out of place" and esoteric (for example— preppy school girls photographed in liminal spaces), to enhance the effect of dissociation.

Notably, a specific style of photography plays a major role in this aesthetic. Usually there will be use of flash photography, obscure settings and irrelevant objects, feminine clothing, messy hair and makeup accompanied by the pose of the "dissociated pout" or an eye roll - looking uninterested and effortless, like you weren't aware of the photograph being taken. There's a tendency to look numb, almost as if you were really lobotomized.


As stated before, the motive of the aesthetic is to act detached and uninterested in our reality. The main goal is to be as effortlessly sexy as possible. This attitude is usually derived from a nihilistic approach to life, which is also a key value of this aesthetic- you're detaching from reality since there's no meaning to it and nothing good about it. Ironically, this article about the aesthetic itself doesn’t match the aesthetic’s values of vagueness and irony; since acknowledging it and showcasing it as a structured style that can be performed in a certain way reduces its purpose of effortlessness and undefined-ness.



  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai


  • The Virgin Suicides (1999)
  • Saint Maud (2019)
  • Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Trouble Every Day (2001)
  • Sucker Punch (2011)


  • Daria (1997)
  • Euphoria (2019)
  • Ratched (2020)
  • Twin Peaks (1990)


Musical Artists[]

  • Fiona Apple
  • Mazzy Star
  • Hole
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Alice Glass
  • Mars Argo
  • Elita
  • PJ Harvey
  • Mitski
  • Feist
  • Cowgirl Clue
  • Nicole Dollanganger