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Warning: Milleniwave visuals do have the potential to trigger seizures due to flashing, bright, and/or obnoxious colors and lights. Viewer discretion is advised.


Milleniwave is an aesthetic born from an overall sense of Millennial frustration and existential dread with the direction society is going by trying to put a happy face and a bright, colorful facade over it that does a piss-poor job of actually hiding it.  While most modern aesthetics stem from a desire to completely retreat from the seeming-downward spiral society is currently on, Milleniwave completely embraces that things suck right now. But, they don’t have to remain sucking, and that we can all rebound from the current societal gunk and ride crescent fresh into new era inspired by the futures that never were. This aesthetic is a better way to facilitate change by present an alternative.

History

Milleniwave is the personal aesthetic of TheInternetTombRaider, also known as Sean Strife, for the Aesthetics Wiki in order to demonstrate how to express the influences, philosophy, connotations, and visual qualities of an aesthetic in an in-depth manner. The original purpose was not expressed, and the status of created aesthetics is still uncertain in the wiki. However, this page remains up just in case somebody does decide to look at the formatting to see how to make a good page for the Wiki (or how to develop one's own unique aesthetic in a way where it can stand on its own).

Here is how the creator of the page arrived at his personal aesthetic. After years of attempting to find an aesthetic home, eventually he decided to just make his own aesthetic of one. After floating between Mallgoth to Raver to a brief spell in the Metrosexual aesthetic to Synthwave to Vaporwave (traveling back and forth between the two in recent years), eventually he decided to draw upon his past (to a happier time) to develop Milleniwave (something he thought would've been the name for what would later become the Y2K aesthetic); a combination of his primary aesthetics as well as other outside elements such as a nihilistic worldview, a crippling sense of existential dread, a love of all things nostalgic (specifically from the time period ranging from the 80s all the way to the early 2000s), and a love of bright, fluorescent (arguably obnoxious) color palette that sometimes doesn't necessarily blend well with the other previously-established aesthetics.

Visual

In many ways, the visual aspect of Milleniwave is a blend of Lo-Fi, Vaporwave, Synthwave, Y2K, Glowwave, and other bright, colorful, and surreal aesthetics. But it also blends dark and depressing elements to juxtapose the bright and colorful visuals; as if to put a colorful coat of paint on a world threatened by civil unrest, strife, catastrophe, and the destruction of the human race as a whole.  A Milleniwave photo edit can take media that was popular from the late 20th/early 21st century, turn the contrast up all the way to 100 so that the colors are as bright and vivid as possible, with the darkness turned down so that the colors can be the star of the show, with some shocking text (appropriate of the time period, of course), but is by no means meant to be a shield for cowardly bigots to hide behind with “it’s a joke” claims. Bonus points if a grainy VHS filter can be applied over it to look like a degraded VHS recording of some old show that looks like it could be close to the point of no return in terms of being able to restore it (much like society).

Milleniwave aesthetics may also play heavily on New Age aesthetics, but with no actual meaning or purpose to them, just appreciating the visually-pleasing aesthetics associated with it while acknowledging that they have no intrinsic or meaningful purpose or value in your life.  Their usage of bright colors can also lead to some incredibly psychedelic Milleniwave visuals.

Fashion

Milleniwave fashion draws inspiration from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s, whether it be from the fashion trends at the time, or the media often portrayed around that time (for example, if somebody wanted to dress up like a Synthwave’d-out Batman, that is completely permissible within Milleniwave).  The key to Milleniwave fashion is “to stand out while hiding your true identity” and to be comfortable in the process as well.  Common fashion (outside of the cosplay example cited above) can include things such as face masks/bandanas (made especially popular during the COVID-19 pandemic), beanies/toboggans, sunglasses (especially in bright and vivid colors), phat pants (for the uninitiated, phat pants is the actual term used for the pants with ridiculously big leg openings that were popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. Think JNCOs and you'll get an idea), tank tops/tight t-shirts, hoodies (in winter time), Mexican wrestling masks (for when you really don't want people to recognize you out on the streets and don't care if it's socially acceptable to wear them or not), baggy gym clothes (for either working out or for particularly lazy days), LED shoes, fiber optic clothing, any sort of clothing that can glow under a blacklight, rainbow-reflective clothing (clothing that looks stealthy and black/grey until the light hits it at a certain angle and causes the clothing to absolutely light up, tye-dye clothing (it can be shirts, pants, or whatever), and/or superhero-themed zentais.

If you are wondering why there isn’t a lot of clothing that could be considered female-coded in Milleniwave; well, that’s because it really hasn’t been defined through a female lens (a rarity among most modern aesthetics), but if anybody wants to attempt to try it out, they are more than welcome to (or if they just wanna wear what the males wear, that’s cool, too).

Milleniwave Vendors

Media

Video Games

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Unsurprisingly, video games do play a major role in defining the initial Milleniwave aesthetic (not only in terms of color palette but also in terms of philosophy), so it should come as no surprise that there are some examples of video games representing the Milleniwave aesthetics. A lot of Milleniwave video games will feature bright colors, trippy/futuristic/surreal visuals, and something of a dark undercurrent (or just overtly dark) in terms of story. Some of these video games include:

  • Assault Rigs
  • Beat Hazard
  • Broforce
  • Deus Ex
  • Dohna Dohna
  • Drift Stage
  • Dyad
  • Earthbound
  • Fantavision
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Final Fantasy 7
  • Grand Theft Auto 3
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Guacamelee
  • Heavy Bullets
  • Hotline Miami
  • Hover: Revolt of Gamers
  • Jazzpunk
  • Jet Moto
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Jumping Flash
  • Katamari Damacy
  • Lollipop Chainsaw
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Mother Russia Bleeds
  • NiGHTS Into Dreams
  • No More Heroes
  • Retro City Rampage
  • Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball
  • Saturday Morning RPG
  • SUPERHOT
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtled 4: Turtles In Time
  • WipeOut (especially WipeOut HD)
  • X-Kaliber 2097
  • X-Men: The Arcade Game

Music

A lot of Milleniwave music is either directly from or inspired by the late 20th/early 21st century and tends to have a slightly electronic sound and/or deals with heavy subject matter, drawing heavily from Ocean Grunge, Seapunk, Vaporwave, Industrial, and Synthwave music, as well as some modern and old school electronic music tracks.  Some popular Milleniwave artists include (but are not limited to):

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Hotel Pools - Eclipse

Can_You_Feel_It?

Can You Feel It?

Written

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A lot of Milleniwave strives to take the ideas and creations forged in the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s popular kid’s shows that were deeply rooted in shallow capitalism but using the more refined, complex storytelling devices discovered as one has gotten older to tell more complex, shades-of-grey stories where the simplistic idea of good-vs-evil isn’t as clean-cut as it once appeared to be as we were kids, and not being afraid to explore the darker sides of concepts that used to be portrayed as innocent and good.

Philosophy

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Milleniwave’s philosophy is rooted in using the media of the past and the messages of sharing, inclusivity, anti-bigotry, honesty, and just overall not being a dick (often referred to by adherents as "The Golden Rule"), and hopes to use that as a vessel to promote this overall positive message to hopefully steer society away from the iceberg dead ahead that is complete and total techno-dystopia the likes of which Cyberpunk literature of the past warned us about; a sort of tracing back our footsteps to see where it is we went wrong exactly and attempt to course correct in the process.  However, the closer and closer we get to crashing into the aforementioned metaphorical iceberg, the more that crawling negative sense of existential dread creeps in and one is forced to retreat into the comforting arms of nostalgia until things hopefully calm down and don’t burn down around us.

Activities

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Some various Milleniwave activities may include, but are not limited to: parkour, backyard wrestling, any form of the martial arts, listening to music (see the music section above for artists that fall under the Milleniwave umbrella), watching old or independent shows/movies either to reminisce about the good old days or to support new art being created, playing video games, writing fictional stories clearly inspired by the media you grew up watching (while playing with the tropes in new and unique ways), coping with the never-ending existential dread one feel’s in their waking life in potentially unhealthy ways (not the same as Traumacore; Traumacore is a very specific thing whereas this is just regular, run-of-the-mill existential dread), laser tag, going to the arcade (if you can find one), black light golf/bowling/yoga/volleyball/whatever activity you can think of to do involving blacklights, half-joking about wanting to drink ammonia and bleach or overall speaking almost exclusively in sarcasm and non-sequitur (saying the most over-the-top stuff imaginable in the most deadpan tone you can muster), sitting around a fire (and maybe throwing different sorts of metal salts in to mess with the color of said fire, setting off fireworks, playing with tesla coils and lasers, cooking/going out to eat/hanging out at a Cafe or Coffee Shop, learn about new cultures in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the world around you, browse the deep web, going out and doing good for other people (so that hopefully others don't have to feel with the creepy sense of dread you deal with everyday), meditating when things get too hectic in reality so one can maintain sanity, offending Baby Boomers (because it's about the best thing you can do to get back at how the vast majority of them completely ruined the world), wandering around a dying mall (thinking about its glory days and thinking about your own glory days slipping by, much like the mall), stargazing (to take in both the fact the universe is so vast and you're only seeing a small portion of it while also realizing that the same atoms, elements, and molecules that make up those faraway celestial bodies are also found within you), and walking alone at night while listening to Lo-Fi Hip-Hop music and just absorbing the ambiance.

Culinary

Culinarily, Milleniwave is all about two things:

  • Paying homage to the snacks, treats, and food of the past
  • Playing with flavors from different countries and seeing what can work together and what can't.

This fusion of past and future & domestic and foreign is key, but important foods to Milleniwave include pizza, soda/energy drinks, sushi, steak, and various sweet candy. Milleniwave food should be bright, vibrant, delicious, and take you back to a simpler time.

Gallery

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