McBling is an aesthetic that was popular from roughly 2003 to 2008, succeeding the Y2K aesthetic. It was coined through a Facebook page in 2016 made by Evan Collins of the Y2K Aesthetics Institute.
The McBling aesthetic began around 2003 with the start of the Iraq War and premiere of Paris Hilton's The Simple Life, marking the end of the Y2K era. By late 2005, McBling was in full swing with things such as emo, Myspace, YouTube, etc. having become very popular, and all traces of the Y2K era were gone. On social media, the McBling aesthetic is often lumped with or mistaken for the Y2K aesthetic, but there are notable differences between the two.
The McBling era ended around 2008 with the Great Recession, Barack Obama's election, and the backlash against 2000s culture setting in. This led into the Electropop/Hipster/Jersey Shore Era, which lasted from about 2008 to 2013.
Popular visual cues of the era include:
- Worship culture of mainstream pop stars
- Hollywood royalty who were popular at the time (such as Paris Hilton, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, etc)
- Bedazzled flip phones
- Flip phones
- Trucker hats
- Large jeeps
- Jewelry and "bling"
- Websites like Myspace and Blingee
People often associate this aesthetic with the color pink (usually a bright hot pink) as it was popularized by Paris Hilton during this time.
A darker side to the McBling aesthetic centers around the myriad of celebrity scandals that went down around the time, including:
- Britney Spears's meltdown in 2007
- Lindsay Lohan going to jail several times for a variety of reasons
- Leaked celebrity sex tapes (most famously, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian)
- Ashley Tisdale messy red carpet looks
- Over exaggerated tabloid headers
- Amanda Bynes unflattering paparazzi photos
- Amanda Bynes messy tweets
- Brad Pitt leaving Jennifer Aniston for then-rising-sexpot Angelina Jolie
The fashion mainly contains messy any controversial outfits worn by these celebs during the 2000's, low rise jeans, juicy couture tracksuits, ripped clothes, etc. Popular fashion items involved in the McBling aesthetic include:
- Expensive Juicy Couture clothes
- Brandy Melville
- Louis Vuitton
- Von Dutch
In essence, McBling was the painful hangover after the massive party that was Y2K.
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