The word “aesthetic” is tossed around a lot on the interwebs these days, particularly on sites like Tumblr and… others, I’m sure. I see it the most on Tumblr, anyway, reblogged with pictures of rain-dappled windshields or bubbling lava lamps. The Urban Dictionary even pokes fun at the relative overuse of “aesthetic,” saying it’s “something that Tumblr weirdos say way too often and use for every damn thing under the sun.” Well, screw Urban Dictionary, here I go with: My Top 3 Aesthetics, In No Particular Order!
1. Crystals: Gee, I wonder why I've been digging crystals so much lately.
Even if it does stem from my undying love for a cartoon, I really enjoy geometric patterns and the soft, often pastel colors of quartzes. I have a quartz shard keychain for my apartment key, a mason jar adorned with a colorful diamond and the words “crystal fund” (‘cuz it’s a coin jar), and—now that I’m looking around—a lot of décor with triangle or diamond patterns, whether it’s the artsy bird canvas print I’ve had for years or the geometric spherical wire thingy my roommate got me for my birthday a few days ago. The last description made his present sound super lame, but I promise it’s cool. I just don’t remember its actual name.
2. Retro/Vintage: There's quite a few elements of the past that I’m glad are making a comeback. Record players are great, for example, and I’m happy to say I own one! There’s something soothing about dusting off a vinyl album, setting the needle, and listening to an actual vintage record (even though, admittedly, CDs and digital media sound way better). The visual aspect of the album spinning just adds to the atmosphere; it almost makes you more invested in the music, because you’re watching and listening. Instamatic cameras are really fun, also! My super awesome boyfriend got me a baby blue beauty for my b-day (say that five times fast) and I’ve already gone through two film cartridges. Sure, there’s only ten shots per cartridge, but each shot costs $1. Plus, I’ve been able to apply the phrase “shake it like a Polaroid” to real life! Typewriters are also fantastic and I’d love to own one someday.
The camera! Troy and I are to the right.
3. Vaporwave: What the hell is vaporwave? I didn’t know until a few days ago, myself. What I’ve discovered is that the micro-genre started from an underground aesthetic in which people compiled a nostalgia for 80s and 90s counterculture, tropical scenes, roman busts, and Asian symbols into… well, vaporwave. It sounds like a garbage fire of a compilation, but when you put it together, it admittedly looks kind of cool. Either way, people started creating music based on this aesthetic—using old Windows sound effects, heavy reverb, 80s elevator music, and a bunch of other found sounds. Many of you may have heard vaporwave already, specifically a song from an album called “Floral Shoppe” that has been used in several Vines. And, yep, I think it’s pretty neat.
There you have it! Three quality aesthetics, fresh from the brain of a twenty-something Tumblr nerd.