This article is not about one aesthetic, this article is an educational tool about aesthetics.
(Before the name article continues, while all of these are referred to as suffixes technically, in English some are compound words (academia) some are purely suffixes (Core, Wave, ) and some are both (punk, goth). Kei, is usually used in English as a compound word but because it is actually Japanese, it will not be categorized by English grammar. )
Note: If you are creating your own aesthetic, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PUT A SUFFIX ON THE END OF SOMETHING TO MAKE IT AN AESTHETIC!
Academia is a group of aesthetics that surround academia, they take and leave bits, and do not focus just on studying what’s assigned today like Studylbr. The look of older universities, for example Oxford University, are included. As is styles of dress associated with academia like “librarian chic.” There is also a literary tradition, which is of books set in side academic spaces, especially with conflicts.
The general aesthetic has so far (as of 2020/08./04) focused visually of 19-20 century boarding school , however the first aesthetic to become its own was Dark Academia, around 2014 . Because of its definite darker, edge in its view of life, Light Academia then created.
According to r/Light Academia it “is an aesthetic that is the opposite of Dark Academia. It involves enjoying the little things in life, the outdoors, enjoying the company of others and the comfort of the ones around you.” * However they still share many elements of style with dark academia, there by making Academia a suffix for aesthetics.
Goth is a subculture that branches out of late punk in the 1980s. The history is long and complicated, and is often disagreed over. Therefore we will link to this page if you would like learn more. They have multiple connections to different music genres, literature, and other forms of media. Dark clothes, Victorian and Edwardian era inspiration in clothing, make up, and decoration. However it also has many branches of the aesthetic.
Kei (系) is a Japanese suffix that is mainly used in the sense of "type", and can describe anything ranging from the theme of an outfit to a personality type. However, the western usage of the suffix started because the names of many Japanese styles would sound too vague in direct translation, the most notorious example of that being the Japanese "fairy fashion" (フェアリーファッション) which is referred to as "fairy kei" outside of Japan.
The punk suffix is usually either related to Punk, the movement characterized by rejecting social norms, or it is a subgenre of speculative fiction.
The origin of this suffix originated with Cyberpunk, which was born from new wave science fiction in the 70’s. The aesthetic can involve anything that would fit into the fictional high tech dystopia, including fashion, architecture, music, products, vehicles, etc.
Cyberpunk later evolved variants, which in some cases are recognized as their own subgenres in speculative fiction. These usually took the form of a world built on one particular transreal technology, for example Steampunk, which is based off steam powered machines, or Dieselpunk, where all the machines are diesel powered. These usually take on features of the time period in which the technology comes from, for instance Steampunk has Victorian themes and Dieselpunk is 1940-50’s themed.
Some aesthetics with the punk suffix that are not speculative fiction or relating to the values of the Punk subculture may be:
- Based of the visual elements of Cyberpunk or Punk, such as Pastel Punk. Cyberprep has also been added to the punk suffix list due to its close connection with Cyberpunk.
- Seapunk or one of its derivatives. Although it does draw upon elements of Punk's rebellious attitudes and far-left political values (which has led to many refer to Seapunk as "proto-Vaporwave"), it was generally considered something of a joke aesthetic when it first the scene.
- Sometimes, in place of Punk, Grunge will be used instead, since Grunge has a similar philosophy to Punk but just evolved for 90's sensibilities instead of the 70's, which was Punk's heyday, and generally has a more down-to-Earth look instead of the over-the-topness of Punk. A popular example of this would be Ocean Grunge (which was, in itself, derived from Seapunk).
The Wave suffix, generally, deals with surreal or unrealistic imagery (such as seen with Synthwave and Vaporwave) or are grounded in reality but can create some really strange imagery in the real world (such as seen with Glowwave), but in both instances, the "-wave" suffix is generally used to draw upon themes of nostalgia and overall nostalgic surrealism (specifically, 80's and 90's nostalgia).
- Koreawave got its name from the nickname given to the influx of Korean popular culture becoming more noteworthy in Western pop culture; "The Korean Wave".
Does An Aesthetic Fit This Suffix?
A desire to learn is embedded in the aesthetic. One does not need to be currently attending a college, school, or university, but if one is not interested in learning, then a new aesthetic is not an Academia one, individuals can enjoy the look without following this, but a new Academia aesthetic cannot be made without learning, being involved in some way.
The use of older style of western academic is currently the main visual focus, however an academia style need not be western at all. If you want to create an aesthetic surrounding Indian, Korean, or Japanese studying, around schools in Turkey, go for it!
As this is a suffix of the japanese language, it is required for an aesthetic or style to originate from Japan. In general, in order to avoid misunderstandings, it is recommended to make a background search in japanese to see if a term actually exists, and to make sure that it refers to what you think it does, as the suffix is often used in a completely different, sometimes even negative, context (for example, "emo kei" is not refering to "emo fashion" but the negative stereotype of someone behaving "emo").