"She’s probably dressed in cashmere, knit sweaters, button ups and light trousers, and she always makes sure to make intelligent, yet stylish fashion choices every day to every occasion."
If you’re a TikTok user like I am, I’m sure you’re always the first one to know about any new trend that’s popular in the app - and there are a lot of them. And they’re getting bolder and bolder now, because it’s not just about beauty and clothes anymore, but full lifestyle tips! The newest one is the Vanilla Girl, and if you scroll your for you page just a couple times, you’ll find something about it. Introducing the Vanilla Girl, the best way to put it is to say she has her whole life together, never skips a day of her skincare and gym routine, and has perfect blown out hair everyday. That’s the new aesthetic everyone is aspiring to be like, and even I, as a critic of all ‘lifestyle trends’ - I find them to be very problematic sometimes - am curious about it.
When I think about all the vanilla girls out there, I picture them waking up with glowy skin and in beige or white pajamas, drinking lemon water or green juice every morning - maybe an iced latte or macchiato too - to get the day started. She’s probably dressed in cashmere, knit sweaters, button ups and light trousers, and she always makes sure to make intelligent, yet stylish fashion choices every day to every occasion - even if the occasion is to get groceries or just to stay at home. She’s also the kind of girl to keep it simple and stick to the neutral, light tones such as white, cream or beige - maybe we’ll see her wearing something in black or brown but that’s as far as it goes.
But you couldn’t be more wrong if you think the trend is all about how many combinations you can make using cream-colored pieces. The goal is to achieve a very specific lifestyle that is set to put you in your vanilla girl era and even healing girl era - the Internet is obsessed with having all kinds of eras now - and creating the perfect aesthetic for you, your appearance, your home and your Insta feed. If you search for the vanilla girl hashtag on TikTok, you’ll find countless tutorials for the ones who want to be a vanilla girl from girls who got there - they also show a lot of their own routines there. Also, it includes a lot of ‘no makeup makeup’ tutorials, scented candles recommendations and journaling and manifestation tips.
One could say that the vanilla girl is much alike the cozy girl, the first lifestyle trend I remember seeing on TikTok - it started way back in 2020. The biggest difference would be that the poor cozy girl was forced into lockdown and had to try her best to get the best of it, so she wore sweatpants and hoodies, drank some tea and would spend hours snuggled up to watch her favorite rom coms and tv shows with no one else but her emotional comfort water bottle - and that was fine and aesthetic because we really had no other option. But not the vanilla girl! The vanilla girl might still love to get cozy, but she’s very put together and never lazy, she’s just having some selfcare time. So I would say the vanilla girl is what would result if the cozy girl and the clean girl had a daughter. A cozy yet focused on progress and soft but still empowered daughter.
When you really think about it, it makes sense for the vanilla girl to be popular right now. We’re just moving on from the clean girl aesthetic so we can’t just forget all about her like that, plus it’s winter so it’s only fair we add some cozy vibes to that - add some love for the hyper feminine things from the coquette trends and voilá! You have your very own new aesthetic to make viral on the Internet and give people - specially women - something to aspire to be! Because there aren't enough standards and social expectations already so we might as well create new ones every given time, right? It sounds very healthy.
But since that’s our topic today, let’s bring it to one of my favorite subjects at any time: style. Oh, the vanilla girl style and wardrobe is to die for - even if it doesn’t sound like it when you think about all those cream colors together, it actually works. But that’s a big point here: to fully embrace and understand the style, you have to open your mind to an endless amount of combinations created with the same few colors - and some all cream outfits. Which is only natural when you look at the whole aesthetic. Find space in your heart for a beige knit, double cream looks, cable knits, silky pajamas, denim staples and, of course, a pair of uggs. The secret is to get different shades and work with textures to break the look and don’t make it look boring. Also, some light, soft pops of color are welcome if you choose the right - the go to’s are usually light pink, gold and rose gold, caramel and different shades of nude.
So yes, I actually do like the vanilla girl sense of fashion and style - even if it goes against the maximalism trend going on for 2023 - but my love for the trend ends there. As I said, I don’t think those lifestyle trends are healthy and great as many seem to think, actually, it’s quite the opposite. I think they just make people resent themselves and their perfectly normal routine because they don’t look perfect when they wake up super early in the morning. Because the vanilla girl does! Actually, she loves waking up early and she naturally arises with the sun. What a beautiful connection.
Her day starts around 5AM, hours before the actual working day and she absolutely loves it. It gives her time to do all her errands, do all the seventeen steps of her skincare routine, make herself some latte and go for a ‘hot girl walk’, all that as the rest of the world awakes. She’s the main character and her life is the end of a teen movie. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with making that your everyday routine and choosing to live as the main character of your own life, but the problem starts when you make it look like that’s the only way to be happy and healthy as everyone has to aspire to live like that. People are not lazy because they won’t wake up before the sun, some of them simply can’t go to sleep at 10PM - or just don’t want to.
I’m sure most of us would love to get home after work or uni and have a hot, long shower before having a fresh, healthy meal while lighting a scent candle and thinking about every next step we’re going to take, but that’s just not the reality. And to watch those videos of a perfect, collected life doesn’t help the ones living in a hurry, actually, it creates the feeling of comparison that is so common when we’re talking about social media - and not at all healthy. To sell a perfect lifestyle just shouldn’t be a trend, but I don’t know maybe that’s just me. And what is the source of all comparison? I’ll tell you.
If someone has their life all figured out and well thought, it’s only natural for their social media profiles to reflect that. So of course the vanilla girls have the most beautiful Insta feeds ever, with a bunch of followers watching them everyday. Also, it’s like they have their own personal photographer for every second of the day - and they always look perfect in every single photo too. How can it be possible? I have no idea, but that is the ultimate goal, I guess.