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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Pink, lace and femininity: A way of life

A new trend has come to dominate the Pinterest boards of young girls; the coquette aesthetic. Its fast-growing popularity has the media plastered with the color pink and bows, bolstering positive attitudes of femininity amongst women of all ages. Beyond the surface level, this new trend holds a deeper value to the power of femininity. 

The coquette aesthetic plays heavily on the appeal of soft femininity. Its core aspects use satin ribbons, pastel colors and delicate girly outfits representing the feminizing of fashion and romanticizing life. Stereotypically, coquette girls listen to Lana del Ray, wear heavy blush and include ribbons and bows anywhere in their look. This new aesthetic has made its way into many big clothing brands such as H&M and Pacsun, as well as Jewelry brands like Every Jewels who recently released their coquette collection, featuring bows and pearls on many of their products. 

Sophomore Irene Park explains, “I actually really like [the] coquette [aesthetic]. I’ve been trying to wear more stuff like it recently, I think it’s a really cute aesthetic.” The coquette aesthetic has blossomed into something much more prominent than just fashion; it has become a way of life. It includes living a slow-romantic life, romanticizing the small things, allowing one’s female inner child to decorate one’s space and exerting feminine energy in everything. One’s space is filled with aesthetically pleasing home decorations; light colors, pink dishes, candles and lace bed sheets are all common components. Daily vlogs in this style have become very popular on social media. Sophomore Kai Leland observes that “a lot of the [coquette] accounts I’ve seen don’t even show their faces. So it’s like room decor, baking and cooking and stuff. I think it’s interesting because it’s like, I think people are coming back to being feminine.”

With the rise of coquette, many other themes of the hyper-feminine lifestyle have risen along with it. Aesthetics like “ballet core” and concepts like girlhood have been constant trends on social media. “Girl Culture” is rising to prominence, empowering young women to embrace their female power. The concept of girlhood is a wide theme of not only being feminine but also being unfiltered and real. Trends like “Girl Dinner” and “Hot girl walks” create a covert bond of girlhood with women all around the world. With coquette, it adds another theme of empowerment; embracing femininity. 

“There’s always been this era on social media that was all independent girl boss, don’t kinda embrace that feminine part [of yourself],” sophomore Audrey Smallidge says. In a mostly male-dominated society, women in the past have often been forced to exert more masculine traits to have a voice in society, dubbed “leaning in.” A New York Times article, “Enough Leaning In. Let’s Tell Men to Lean Out” by Ruth Whippman, mentions this phenomenon as “anything associated with girls or women — from the color pink to domestic labor — is by definition assigned a lower cultural value than things associated with boys or men.” Whippman explains that society perpetuates the idea of “Women! Be more like men. Men, as you were.” However, with this new aesthetic riding the high waves of social praise, women all over the world are showing their femininity and the beauty of being female proudly. This seemingly harmless trend has transformed into subliminal advocacy for female power through the rejection of the idea of being masculine to be successful and introducing the strength that soft femininity holds. 

If you search the word coquette on Google, the definition is: “coquette is a flirt, a girl or woman who knows how to flatter and manipulate men with her charms to get what she wants.” Though this bold definition is one of many interpretations of the word, its idea still holds true. Nestled within its definition, a coquette doesn’t just bend the rules, she makes her own. By unapologetically embracing her femininity, she’s rejecting the idea that success requires one to rinse off her flowery feminine essence and replace it with thick masculine cologne. She uses her femininity as a strategic tool toward success in a world that often demands conformity to masculine traits — because who needs neck ties when you have pink ribbons?  


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