But what exactly defines a ‘Messy Girl’? Perhaps another term born from TikTok, yet following the ‘Clean Girl’ trend, this alter ego is gaining traction online. Fox’s devoted followers admire the actress’s perspective on life, from her beauty routines to her unconventional fashion choices. Now, with her interpretation of ‘Messt,’ we explore this reactionary style so you can embrace a more ‘untidy’ version of yourself.
The ‘Messy Girl,’ as understood in the realm of TikTok, is a response to the ‘Clean Girl.’ What initially appeared as a harmless trend promoting cleanliness has evolved into a lifestyle extending beyond mere regular hygiene practices. It’s about slicked-back hair buns, ballet flats, effortless blazers, and designer sunglasses—an ode to style, often credited to influencers like Matilda Djerf. Hailey Bieber also embodies the ‘Clean Girl’ vibe—just look at her makeup-free concealer tutorial. While this aesthetic signifies a sense of well-being through 6 am matcha rituals, it has faced criticism for its exclusivity.
It embodies a rather upscale way of life, economically unattainable for many. Social media has acknowledged that the ‘Clean Girl’ image often aligns with whiteness, able-bodiedness, and a particular body shape and size.
Despite the hazy origins of its popularity, this trend has gripped young women online, evolving from a passing fad into a lifestyle movement. It’s entrenched itself swiftly, akin to a 15-second TikTok clip, and it appears here to stay, with its reactionary counterpart potentially offering an alternative.
The concept of ‘Messy’ itself remains ambiguous in its scope. ‘Musty,’ ‘Messy Girl,’ and the quintessential ‘It’ girl of club nights all intermingle within this ‘Messy’ sphere. From our online observations, this new term does not intend to shame lifestyles that don’t perfectly align with its stated ideals.
This style aims to counter the notion of flawless makeup into experimental beauty routines and fashion choices. There’s no fixed appearance for a ‘Messy Girl’ as it draws influences from various subcultures preceding it. It rebels against the unrealistic standards of early morning rituals and prefers the makeup remnants from the night before, drawing inspiration from ’80s club kid vibes and ’90s grunge. It doesn’t hide away from acknowledging one’s vices and aspires to embrace the ‘Dirty’ look in line with one’s imperfect yet authentic lifestyle.
So, while yesterday’s fake tan and an Olsen Twins-inspired hangover chic might be a part of it, ‘Dirty’ essentially becomes what you desire it to be. Fox is inviting everyone to embrace a more unpolished lifestyle, suggesting that smudged mascara or lipstick-stained teeth needn’t be causes for embarrassment as long as you’re enjoying life to the fullest.